Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.
The show is hosted by three women, Leah Litman, Kate Shaw and Melissa Murray, who are three law professors, but they’re also swimmers, mothers (of humans and dogs), and celebrity gossip enthusiasts. They’re women who’ve practiced before and write about the Court in their professional lives. They have a different voice–one that celebrates the contributions and opinions of women and people of color. They provide intelligent and in-depth legal analysis alongside their unvarnished, respectfully irreverent takes. And they want to do it in a way that is accessible to a variety of listeners, including Supreme Court regulars, lawyers, law students, and members of the public who are looking for a window into the Court’s decisions, as well as its culture, personalities, and folkways.
The hosts think SCOTUS is serious business—but they don’t take ourselves or the Court too seriously. They’ve got hot takes, jokes, and a lot to say.
Women Are Not Without Power
Even though it's summer, there's a lot to catch up on in the legal world! Leah and Melissa talk with Grace Panetta, who co-wrote a piece for Business Insider on the GOP's plans for state constitutional conventions. And then they turn toward Kansas, where voters dramatically turned out to declare that abortion rights are an essential part of the state constitution. They're joined by several of the activists behind the victory.
Hostility to Mercy
Leah talks with Lee Kovarsky of the University of Texas about the Supreme Court's treatment of death penalty cases.
Law & Religion on the Barrett Court
It's a deep dive into law and religion in this conservative supermajority iteration of the Supreme Court. Kate talks with Micah Schwartzman of UVA and Nelson Tebbe of Cornell about some of the major religious liberty cases that have come before the Court in recent years, and what the Court may be signaling for the future.
The Family Roe: An American Story
Melissa interviews journalist Joshua Prager about his book, The Family Roe: An American Story.
How Mitch Rigged the Courts
While the Supreme Court gets all the focus, lower federal courts are just as much in need of reform. Unfortunately, rigging the courts is a game the GOP knows how to play. In this episode, Leah talks with Rakim Brooks of Alliance for Justice, and Brandon Hasbrouck of Washington & Lee Law School, about how federal judges get picked, how Mitch McConnell has played the long game, and how the Democrats need to move forward in the judicial selection process.
Break Glass in Case of Emergency
It was a long term. It's over. Leah, Melissa, and Kate recap what all happened, what we maybe learned out of it, and what we have to look forward to.