53 episodes

5-4 is a podcast about how much the Supreme Court sucks. It's a progressive and occasionally profane take on the ideological battles at the heart of the Court's most important landmark cases; an irreverent tour of all the ways in which the law is shaped by politics. Listen each week as hosts Peter, Michael, and Rhiannon dismantle the Justices’ legal reasoning on hot-button issues like affirmative action, gun rights, and campaign finance, and use dark humor to reveal the high court's biases. Presented by Slow Burn co-creator Leon Neyfakh, 5-4 is a production of Prologue Projects. 
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5-‪4‬ Prologue Projects

    • Government
    • 4.3 • 1.4K Ratings

5-4 is a podcast about how much the Supreme Court sucks. It's a progressive and occasionally profane take on the ideological battles at the heart of the Court's most important landmark cases; an irreverent tour of all the ways in which the law is shaped by politics. Listen each week as hosts Peter, Michael, and Rhiannon dismantle the Justices’ legal reasoning on hot-button issues like affirmative action, gun rights, and campaign finance, and use dark humor to reveal the high court's biases. Presented by Slow Burn co-creator Leon Neyfakh, 5-4 is a production of Prologue Projects. 
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    Antonin Scalia [TEASER]

    Antonin Scalia [TEASER]

    Here's a taste of what Patreon supporters get! In this episode, Peter (@The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon), and Michael (@_FleerUltra) discuss former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
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    • 3 min
    McCleskey v. Kemp ft. Josie Duffy Rice

    McCleskey v. Kemp ft. Josie Duffy Rice

    The hosts are joined by Josie Duffy Rice of The Appeal to discuss another death penalty case — McCleskey v. Kemp. In this 1987 decision, the Supreme Court held that statistical evidence of systemic racial disparities is not enough to prove discrimination. Instead, defendants have to show that individual prosecutors, judges or juries pursued them with racist intent. As a result, states were basically let off the hook for perpetuating systemic racism in death penalty cases.
    Follow Peter (@The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon) and Michael (@_FleerUltra) on Twitter.

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    • 49 min
    Atkins v. Virginia

    Atkins v. Virginia

    The hosts discuss Atkins v. Virginia, a case in which the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty on people with intellectual disabilities. But the Court also created a loophole by allowing states to decide the standard for who qualifies as intellectually disabled. As a result of the Court’s lack of clarity, some states have continued to execute people with intellectual disabilities to this day.
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    • 57 min
    US v. Morrison

    US v. Morrison

    The hosts discuss a case in which the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that allowed women to sue abusers in federal court for damages. In the process, the Court constrained the ability of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not only weakening an important civil rights law, but also making it more difficult for Congress to pass progressive legislation going forward.
    Follow eter (@The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon), and Michael (@_FleerUltra) on Twitter.
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    • 49 min
    Navarette v. California

    Navarette v. California

    Your hosts discuss Navarette v. California, which held that an unverified anonymous tip about reckless driving could be sufficient grounds for the police to pull over a car. The case exemplifies how deferential the Supreme Court is to police power, and has resulted in an increased reliance on anonymous tips by the cops, and a corresponding erosion of citizens’ privacy rights.
    Follow Peter (@The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon), and Michael (@_FleerUltra) on Twitter.
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    • 49 min
    Morse v. Frederick

    Morse v. Frederick

    In 2002, a student held up a banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” at an Olympic torch relay, in full view of his classmates and teachers. When he was suspended, he claimed his banner was protected free speech under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court disagreed. In this episode, your hosts discuss the contours of student free speech, the Court’s puritanical moralizing on marijuana, and the importance of absurdist speech in creating real change.
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    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

levinjw ,

Very Informative!

I teach history in NYC but don’t have a background in political science. I especially love how the team elucidates the details of the voting rights cases. They help me make current events connections in class. Thanks!

yesplsnothnx ,

I didn’t know I needed this

Amazing amazing podcast that I’ve been binging all weekend. Both informative and laugh out loud funny.

kl300 ,

Nearly perfect

Beautiful podcast! The logic is stellar- not that it has to be..the whole show is based on showing just how dreadful the logic of the conservative US Supreme Court really is. That is a lower bar. But surprisingly, until now, no one seems to have gone after this low hanging fruit, in a comprehensive way. It is very important that this task be done, and 5-4 not only does it, but does it entertainingly.
Really, conservative Supreme Court arguments are just a shaggy dog version of a list of informal fallacies strung together. I have always thought so, but felt alone. Glad not to be completely alone!

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