Short Circuit 236 | Constitutions and Common Law

When you sue the government for violating your rights do you first need the government’s permission? Unfortunately, the answer is usually “yes.” We look at a pair of recent cases that go in different directions on the issue, and this leads us to some pretty “deep thoughts” about where law comes from and what roles courts and legislatures have in finding remedies to address constitutional violations. The words “common law” come up much more than is generally common for the podcast. First Anya Bidwell explains how the Tenth Circuit denied a prisoner a chance to sue a prison guard based on a recent Supreme Court decision that effectively closed the door on new remedies when federal officials violate the Constitution. Then, in contrast, Ben Field details a case from the Michigan Supreme Court where the majority recognized a remedy for violations of the state constitution. In addition, the dissent says some interesting things about legal history that we explore. It’s often repeated that if there is a right there is a remedy too. We try to find out how true that actually is.

Click here for transcript.

Join us for Short Circuit Live in NYC on Oct 26!

Silva v. U.S.

Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency

50 Shades of Government Immunity

Recent Episodes

March 23, 2023

Short Circuit 264 | Evicting Innocent People

Can a city get a renter evicted for a crime they didn’t commit? Unfortunately, in cities across the country the answer is yes. On a […]

Read More

March 14, 2023

Short Circuit 263 | A Three Hour Tour

A nostalgic tale of judicial engagement where we examine whether recess is a crime and whether it’s fine for the government to follow your every […]

Read More

March 08, 2023

Short Circuit 262 | Shielded

A special Short Circuit Live at Georgetown University hosts Joanna Schwartz of UCLA to discuss her book Shielded: How the Police Became Untouchable. And not […]

Read More