20 episodes

A podcast about how deeply and totally screwed up the court system has always been but especially under the Trump administration

May it Displease the Court Mary M Whiteside

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

A podcast about how deeply and totally screwed up the court system has always been but especially under the Trump administration

    Episode 19: Texas Goddamn

    Episode 19: Texas Goddamn

    Episode 19- Texas Goddamn – Show Notes

    In this episode attorney, Mary Whiteside breaks down the tyranny emerging in Texas caused by the Republican controlled state legislature, which has enacted laws written by Dark Money funded political operatives like ALEC and SNP, groups designed to write right wing laws to benefit Dark Money donors and religious zealots .This unholy alliance has seemingly unlimited funding, which has been used to capture a large part of the Federal Judiciary including the Supreme Court.

    What is happening in Texas is the plan for the rest of the country. This is the all hands on deck moment for democracy and the rights of the majority of its citizens.


    The Texas 6 week abotion ban was passed to please the religious zealot voting block (aka the pro-life voters). The specifics of the far right agenda is deeply unpopular with voters because it hurts everyone who is not extremely rich. Therefore, they needed to build a coalition of voters. The religious zealot voting block only focuses on overturning Roe v. Wade leaving the Koch politicians free to enact other policies without scrutiny. The Captured Supreme Court was installed to make sure Roe is overturned or gutted to the point of practical irrelevance. The Robert’s Court is fulfilling their promise to the Dark Money 

    Texas enacts the Koch operatives’ long term strategy by passing the most restrictive voter suppression/restrictions, which is the key to permanently installing an autocratic Christian Nationalist minority. 

    Part 3 looks at all the other laws Texas passed this year to advance the Koch project to make America hospitable for corporations and the ultra wealthy. 

    CONCLUSION: We need to pressure the Democratically controlled Congress and President Biden to pass these laws. 

    The Women’s Health Protection Act - This bill would establish a statutory right for health care professionals to provide abortion care and the right for their patients to receive care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion care.

    The Judicial Ads Act would require identification of donors who fund advocacy campaigns aimed at confirming their favored nominees. 

    The Disclose Act

    The For the People Act, The

    Freedom to Vote Act

    We also need to make our voices loud, especially with our state, local and national representatives. We need to spend our money strategically and stop giving money to fossil fuel and businesses that are using their wealth to undermine and weaken democracy.








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    • 36 min
    No Seriously, Eat the Rich

    No Seriously, Eat the Rich

    Episode 18- No Seriously, Eat the Rich – Show Notes

    Appellate attorney, Mary Whiteside is joined by Professor of Rhetoric, Lee Pierce and today we are looking at how the legal system was rigged to protect the rich and well connected. To understand just how rigged the system is we have to understand a little bit more about the stinking filthy rich. This episode takes a peek inside their private jet lifestyle.

    The unchecked accumulation of wealth creates a vast disparity of wealth distribution is the single biggest threat to humanity. We the People can unite to stop it. Tax the Rich to Save the Planet.

    This podcast looks at the power behind the law. Law is about the rules that we as a society adopt. We think we can change those rules. But, can we? You cannot have an honest discussion about the law without acknowledging and talking about power distribution. The main reason the system is so broken is because it was designed by rich people, who rigged the rules to favor them and people like them especially when the rich people’s priorities come into conflict with poorer people’s rights. 

    How do the rich really live? Beware, this isn’t some fetishized description of their indulgence luxuries.

    2) For the rich, crime pays.

    They don’t get prosecuted for the crimes they commit and if they do get prosecuted they receive light sentences, e.g. the Sacklers, Bernie Madoff.

    Whereas, the poor get hammered by the system. The police and prosecutors project an image of being tough on crime and focused on law and  order, but in reality they ignore the crimes committed by the rich people, like tax evasion, corporate theft, wage theft, fraud, and vast criminal conspiracies like those perpetrated by the pharmaceutical companies. The police and prosecutors instead shift the public’s attention on individual crimes like assaults, smaller thefts, and drug dealing. They chose to wield the power of the state against the poor. 

    3) What is the plan? Tax the rich to save the planet. It’s not super complicated, frankly.

    CONCLUSION: The deadliest of the seven deadly sins is proving to be avarice. The accumulation of gobs and gobs of wealth derived from the underpaid labor of the masses. The ultra rich clearly aren’t going to give their wealth away because if they were they would already have done it. They are miserable, to benefit them and us Tax the Rich to Save the Planet.










    Article: Money Buys Happiness citing a study from Princeton University conducted by economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman

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    • 38 min
    Combating FakeNews at Home and Deepfakes in the Courtroom

    Combating FakeNews at Home and Deepfakes in the Courtroom

    In this special episode of May it Displease the Court, a podcast about how unjust the court system has always been, but especially in this age of rampant misinformation, produced specifically for The Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival. The Carnival runs from August 16-19, 2021. Check out participating podcasts who all produced episodes incorporating this year’s theme “Contending with Misinformation in the Community and the Classroom”. The Carnival culminates with the keynote speaker, Dr. Renee Hobbs, Professor of Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communications and Media and Founder of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island. 

    Mary Whiteside, an attorney, is joined by expert guest, Dr. Amanda Cronkhite, an assistant professor at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth. Dr. Cronkhite’s research focuses on the role of media and information in politics and national security. Her latest published research looks at #FakeNews and the handling of misinformation in the media.

    This episode looks at how misinformation spreads throughout populations, as well as how easy it has become to create deep or cheapfakes, which may become a problem in courtrooms. Here are the highlights:


    1) A small percentage of social media users share an overwhelming majority of the mis/mal or dis-information out there, especially if it confirms their existing prior biases. 

    2) Strategies for combating misinformation or mal-information include:

    teach individuals to check for fact-checking articles about a news story

    trace the source of information 

    read laterally, that is, check other sources' evaluations of the story's source

    3) One type of misinformation, deepfakes, which are videos produced or altered to present content that never occurred in real life and the technology to produce videos has evolved so quickly that now it can be done cheaply even from a single image. Mary and Dr. Cronkite explore weather deepfakes can create a big enough doubt to be reasonable so often that they create a “liar’s dividend” as described in (Chesney and Citron 2019) that undercuts the existing legal system?


    mis/dis/mal-info written: https://rm.coe.int/information-disorder-report-november-2017/1680764666

    mis/dis/mal-info video: https://www.weareiowa.com/video/news/local/explaining-the-difference-between-disinformation-misinformation-and-malinformation/524-151c0a53-76d8-4481-842f-116a527f5ad4

    Kahneman book https://bookshop.org/books/thinking-fast-and-slow/9780374533557

    Peter W. Singer on media literacy https://time.com/5932134/cyber-citizenship-national-priority/

    Estonia & media literacy https://www.educationestonia.org/finland-denmark-and-estonia-top-the-media-literacy-index-2021/

    Foreign Service https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/officer/

    The Conversation is a website where scholars write about their work for the mass public. Some articles from there:How to not become a misinfo spreader https://theconversation.com/7-ways-to-avoid-becoming-a-misinformation-superspreader-157099

    How to talk to misinformed family members https://theconversation.com/how-to-talk-to-someone-you-believe-is-misinformed-about-the-coronavirus-133044







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    • 41 min
    Broadening the Bench with Julie Cianca

    Broadening the Bench with Julie Cianca

    Broadening the Bench with Julie Cianca – Show Notes

    This episode, hosted by appellate attorney Mary Whiteside, welcomes Julie Cianca, a Monroe County Public Defender. Julie is a 26 year veteren trial attorney who is running for Monroe County Court Judge. 

    The Judiciary at the state and federal level is heavily male, white, and straight. The reform movement has focused a lot of attention on increasing diversity by getting more women and people of color on the bench. With the goal of expanding the bench to include people with different backgrounds and perspectives. However, not enough attention has focused on how a person’s professional background shapes their priorities. The vast majority of the judiciary at the state and federal level are composed of former prosecutors, corporate attorneys and government attorneys. A much smaller percentage were public defenders or civil rights attorneys. 

    Mary spoke with Julie Cianca about why she is running for Monroe County Court Judge and what she thinks she can bring to the bench.  

    Here are a few highlights:


    1) Most Judges act as if their job is to rubberstamp the actions of the police and the prosecution. Whereas, a public defender’s job is to fight for the Constitution. To make sure that the police, the prosecution, and the Judge affords their client all of the protections guaranteed them under the state and federal constitutions. This makes everyone safeer and is the perfect training for a Judge. 


    2) Even if it is unpopular, it is a Judge’s responsibility and obligation to suppress unconstitutionally obtained evidence. While this is frustrating to police it also serves to teach them how to do their job better by showing them what is and is not allowed under the Constitution. 


    3) If a person is convicted they have to be sentenced. A public defender is used to taking the time and effort to understand who are the people that are accused and convicted of crimes. In a system of mass incarceration and a prison bureaucracy a more balanced bench can help curb the trend of longer and longer sentences without any empirical data to show they are effective at increasing public safety. 


    Finally, we encourage everyone to pay attention to their local judicial races and especially to the background of the candidates. In Monroe County, New York Primary Day is June 22nd. Please get to know who is running and make sure you VOTE!


    Check out Julie Cianca’s Website:



    Follow Julie on Facebook:



    For more on Julie’s work as a Public Defender:



    For Monroe County Voting Information:












    • 52 min
    HR1 - Legislation to Save Democracy

    HR1 - Legislation to Save Democracy

    HR1 - The Most Important Bill in American History 

    The episode looks at HR1 or S1 as it is titled in the Senate, the most important bill in Biden’s presidency and, perhaps, in modern American history. It is a must-pass for Democrats, for Biden, and for Democracy worldwide. This bold, comprehensive bill fixes a lot of what has been broken in the past 4 decades. It combats dark money, foreign interference, partisan gerrymandering, but most importantly it raises the national minimum standards to protect voting rights. The Right to Vote is the bedrock of democracy. It’s under massive attack and this bill might just be the only thing that can save it. 

    This episode is subtitled Why Congress Matters, because it is imperative to know what laws Congress is considering and to be part of that process.  

    This episode is an in depth primer on HR1 or The For the People’s Act as it is known. This bill does a lot. It is the Democrats taking the fight back to the Republicans who have been chipping away at the ability of the people to participate in government and to elect Representatives who listen to them and advance their interests and priorities. 

    The provisions of HR1 have 4 main categories 

    Voting Rights and election security;

    Campaign Finance Reform - tackles dark money, foreign election interference

    Ethics Reform for all three branches of government - important because the Supreme Court is not subject to any ethical standards;

    A catchall that closes all the loopholes Trump and his kleptocratic cronies used to treat the office of the Presidency and the Executive Branch as their person piggy banks to benefit themselves and their interests at the expense of the country and it outlaws those practices. 

    Who opposes HR1/S1? Republicans, obviously, but also some Democrats. What should be a Democratic legislative slam dunk, a patriotic message screamed from every Demcratic House Representative and Senator is seeming dead on arrival. Under the guise of protecting a legislative procedural rule, unique to the Senate, namely the filibuster. Joe Manchin the ostensibly Democratic Senator from West Virginia penned an Op-Ed coming out against HR1/S1 and declared his firm commitment to keeping the filibuster. He is joined by one of the most annoying alleged-Democratic Senators, Kirsten Sinema from Arizona. She joined Senator Cornyn from Texas, in Texas right after the Texas Democrats temporarily blocked the Republican’s massive voter suppression bill to declare Sinema’s commitment to the filibuster. Seemingly a clear message that they are both in league with the Republicans to suppress the vote. But they are not the only Democratic Senators standing in the way of HR1/S1.

    Finally, we encourage listeners to advocate for the passage of this bill by following the link below to Vote Save America (a helpful tool from the Pod Save America guys) so they  can contact your Senators and PUSH them to get on board with saving democracy. 










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    • 38 min
    Bail Reform Is Nothing To Fear

    Bail Reform Is Nothing To Fear

    The first episode of Season 2 hosted by Mary welcomes back Erik Teifke, who is the Second Assistant at the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office in Rochester, NY. The episode looks at the effects of New York’s historic 2020 Bail Reform law. 


    This law took away judges’ ability to set bail on certain charges with the goal of drastically reducing the number of people held pre-trial and pre-conviction. Here are the highlights:


    1) The purpose of bail has always been ensuring that a person charged with a crime comes back to court to participate in their defense. For decades judges across the state abused their discretion in setting bail resulting in thousands and thousands of people held in jail during the prosecution of their case simply because they could not afford to post bail, which disrupted their lives, jobs, and families. The cost of jailing pre-trial detainees as well as the economic cost from their disrupted lives is significant prompting the change in the law.


    2) Immediately after the law took effect and before any data could be collected on the impact of the law, District Attorneys, Police Departments and Police Unions enacted a coordinated fear mongering campaign to make New Yorkers believe that now dangerous (minority) criminals would be roaming free to victimize them. 


    3) Four months after the Bail Reform law passed, legislators watered it down by giving judges the ability to set bail on more charges, but the law is still a significant reform that has drastically reduced the amount of people held pre-trial and proven that bail was not needed to incentivize people returning to court, the vast majority come back on their own as required.


    Finally, we encourage listeners to advocate for bail reform in their own communities.







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    Rate and Review (5 Stars!) the show to help people find us.


    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Adam Are. ,

Insightful and no-nonsense, Mary and Lee are great!

This podcast comes at a perfect time with the shift that’s happening in our society. Mary and Lee bring a lot of experience from their respective fields to the table to tell us what the media can’t see. Their knowledge clears up a lot of the disinformation out there to tell us how the court system really works!

mimi _ LA ,

Inside track on our flawed system

Great hosts who offer a unique perspective of our court system ... but the podcast does much more than point out its flaws. It discusses changes that can - and should - be made to make justice more equal for all. Smart guests. Relevant topics. Now I can use time stuck in traffic gaining some fresh insight.

Larkonthewing ,

Real and Researched

This podcast is quickly becoming one of my regulars. Lee and Mary have a natural chemistry that makes you feel like you’re listening in on a friend’s phone call. This show humanizes a field that I have always felt was cold and distant. There’s so much work to be done to reform our system. Let’s get to work!

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