31 episodes

Bound by Oath is a podcast series from the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice. It’s where the Constitution’s past catches up with the present. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires every judge to be “bound by Oath” to uphold “this Constitution.” But to understand if judges are following that oath, it’s important to ask, “What is in ‘this Constitution’?” Your host John Ross takes a deep dive into the Constitution’s text, history, and characters, and interviews historians, legal scholars, and the real people involved in historic and contemporary cases.

Bound By Oath by IJ Institute for Justice

    • Government
    • 4.8 • 296 Ratings

Bound by Oath is a podcast series from the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice. It’s where the Constitution’s past catches up with the present. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution requires every judge to be “bound by Oath” to uphold “this Constitution.” But to understand if judges are following that oath, it’s important to ask, “What is in ‘this Constitution’?” Your host John Ross takes a deep dive into the Constitution’s text, history, and characters, and interviews historians, legal scholars, and the real people involved in historic and contemporary cases.

    Mr. Thornton's Woods

    Mr. Thornton's Woods

    In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment's protections against warrantless searches do not apply to "open fields." Which means that government agents can jump over fences, ignore No Trespassing signs, and roam private land at will. There are no limits. On this episode, we talk to Richard and Linda Thornton, whose property in rural Maine was at the center of the case. And we ask: Can the Founders really have thought the Constitution did not protect private woods, fields, farms, and more from warrantless invasions?







    Click here for transcript.







    Oliver v. United States 







    Hester v. United States

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Groping in a Fog

    Groping in a Fog

    In 1922, Scranton, Pennsylvania was said to be on the verge of collapsing into the vast coal mines beneath the city; residents, buildings, and streets alike were being swallowed up by “suddenly yawning chasms.” State legislators responded by unanimously passing a law meant to save the region, where about a million people lived, from total desolation. But when the law reached the Supreme Court, the justices struck it down, ruling that it would be an unconstitutional “regulatory taking” to force coal companies to leave their coal in the ground. On this episode, we go to nearby Pittston, Pennsylvania to find out what happened to the house at the center of the case. Did it—or Scranton—fall into the pits? After that, we trace the major developments in regulatory takings doctrine, which protect against regulations that go “too far.” But we wind up in a bit of a fog. Plus! This episode will have an unsolved murder—and some Supreme Court trivia: did you know a future Supreme Court justice argued the case on behalf of Scranton (at least in state court)?







    Click here for transcript.







    Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon







    Penn Central v. New York City

    • 1 hr 12 min
    A Lost World

    A Lost World

    On Episode 3, we journey back to a lost world: the world before zoning. And we take a look at a trio of historic property rights cases. In In re Lee Sing, San Francisco officials tried to wipe Chinatown off the map. In Buchanan v. Warley, Louisville, Ky. officials mapped out where in the city residents were allowed to live based on their race. And in Hadacheck v. Sebastian, a Los Angeles city councilman sought to use the police power to protect his real estate investments.







    Click here for transcript.

    • 36 min
    A Pig in a Parlor

    A Pig in a Parlor

    In 1926, in the case of Euclid v. Ambler, the Supreme Court upheld zoning, giving elected officials and city planners vast, new, and largely unchecked power to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own private property. On this episode: the story of the lawsuit that changed everything for American property rights plus the personalities who made it happen.







    Click here for episode transcript.







    Euclid v. Ambler (Supreme Court opinion)







    Ambler v. Euclid (district court opinion)







    Nectow v. Cambridge

    • 53 min
    The Blessings of Quiet Seclusion

    The Blessings of Quiet Seclusion

    On this episode we return to the subject of zoning. With the doors to federal courthouses barred shut, advocates for reforming zoning have turned to state courts and state constitutions. Most famously, in 1975, the New Jersey Supreme Court took a look at a zoning ordinance that made it illegal to build low- and moderate-income housing in the township of Mount Laurel and said in no uncertain terms: enough. But the story of the Mount Laurel doctrine, which calls for municipalities to do their fair share to meet the regional demand for affordable housing, is not all milk and honey. Additionally, we take a look at some current efforts in other states to protect property rights under state constitutions.







    Click here for Open Fields Conference







    Click here for episode transcript.







    Mount Laurel I (1975) and Mount Laurel II (1983)







    Warth v. Seldin







    Belle Terre v. Boraas

    • 1 hr 1 min
    This is Mine

    This is Mine

    On this episode, we take a break from case law and go way back to the beginning to examine the origins and justifications of private property.







    Click here for episode transcript.







    Tyler v. Hennepin County

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
296 Ratings

296 Ratings

Ballydehob~ ,

This is a fascinating podcast

It is well-researched and well-delivered.

If you are concerned about government power, listen here.

Skunkle Dave ,

Infuriating

So well done. You and your worst enemy will agree on how maddening these cases are.

4Bivens ,

Better Than Going to Law School

As a lawyer, I can honestly say this podcast is better than any legal class I ever took. It’s informative and fascinating, just vital to understanding constitutional litigation in our country.

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