A podcast about how deeply and totally screwed up the court system has always been but especially under the Trump administration
Fighting for Daniel Prude: Police Brutality and Protestor Rights feat. Don Thompson and Jill Paperno--Season 01 Ep 08
The Difficulty of Removing Judges feat. Michael Moodian--Season 01 Ep 07
Our legal system gives Judges power over trivial matters as well as over life or death. But who judges the Judges? The answer varies with the jurisdictions. In this episode Mary and Lee speak with Assistant Professor Michael Moodian who was appointed by the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, to the 11-member State of California Commission on Judicial Performance in 2015 and reappointed Mike for a four-year term in 2017. The commission investigates judicial misconduct and complaints and disciplines state judges. This is a behind the scenes look at the process of investigating judicial complaints including who files complaints, how investigations proceed, and what types of sanctions are available to deal with judicial misconduct. Is it going to be a private letter, or a public reprimand, all the way up to removal from the bench. Mary shares her experience with Judges who, perhaps, crossed the line of propriety. Mary, Lee, and Mike wrap up the episode discussing the benefits of a systemic change to include proactive judicial monitoring with financial and assets disclosure requirements that could help expose and deter judicial corruption. Find us on Twitter @courtpod Click here to see the episode on our website Resources mentioned in this episode:https://www.chapman.edu/our-faculty/michael-moodianhttps://cjp.ca.gov/https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-judges-misconduct/https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2011/08/11/139536686/pa-judge-sentenced-to-28-years-in-massive-juvenile-justice-bribery-scandal
Courage for Profit: How the Modern Right has Weaponized Language–Season 01 Episode 06
In this episode we’re looking at specific strategies that the anti-democratic revolutionary libertarian right, the McConnell-Trump-Koch/Dark money axis of evil for short, redefines particular words such as “liberty” and “courage” and “conservatives” so that they can dupe their supporters into believing they are getting one thing--more liberty, more courage, more conservatism--while they’re in fact getting less. With help from Ian Haney López, author of Merge Left, and Nancy McLean, author of Democracy in Chains, this episode explores how the radical anti-democratic libertarian Right has exploited “religious liberty” and “conservatism” and how “courage” is being redeployed to mean pro-corporation and anti-democracy.Mary revisits the ever important issue of court packing, following some Koch surrogates like Carrie Severino of the Heritage Foundation. We unpack the word “courage” popping up in strange ways to describe the judicial quality that the Trump administration has been looking for in their nomination list of Federal Judges. Looking across excerpts not only Severino but also Justica Scalia, Don McGahn (former White House Council, and Leonard Leo, it’s clear that courage is joining liberty and conservative as code words for the willingness to undermine democracy in favor of the rich getting richer.Click here for the episode transcriptClick here to see the episode on our websiteResources mentioned in this episode:"The Politics and Rhetoric of Courage" by Vatz, Richard E. - USA TODAY, Vol. 141, Issue 2814, March 2013 | Online Research LibraryAnalysis | Five of John McCain’s most courageous political momentsScalia on Democracy Without Disclosure, Brennan CenterThe Conservative Pipeline to the Supreme CourtNancy MacLean, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America” (Viking, 2017)Ian Haney López, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (New Press, 2019)Follow the show on Twitter @courtpod
Innocent Then "Proven" Guilty: Wrongful Conviction Exoneration with Don Thompson--Season 01 Ep 05
We tell ourselves that prisons are populated by guilty people. We justify treating prisoners poorly, harshly because they "deserve to be there". There is a long tradition underlying this myth. Ben Franklin reportedly said "it is better to let a hundred guilty men go free than one guilty man be convicted". The advent and continued improvement of DNA technology has proven that wrongful convictions are a regular part of our criminal justice system. Mary and Lee welcome award winning attorney Don Thompson who is unfortunately an expert in wrongful conviction exonerations. Don has had five post conviction exonerations. They are amazing successes born out of epic systemic failures. Don joined forces with The Innocence Project, out of New York City, which works to exonerate people based on DNA evidence.Here are some facts about exonerations pulled from The Innocence Project website: "The first exoneration occurred in 1989, to date there have been 375 more. The average number of years served before exoneration is 14. 21 of those people had been on death row. 44 pled guilty to crimes they did not commit. All but 15 of the exonerations involved some form of false confession. 60% of those exonerated were Black and 31% were white." In a functioning system the appellate system would conduct meaningful reviews of convictions and would catch wrongful convictions in short order, but it doesn't and that is in large part because Judges and District Attorneys fight tooth and nail to oppose meaningful review of the evidence to keep these convictions intact. Don discusses his representation of Valentino Dixon who was wrongfully convicted of murder even though another man confessed on camera within a day of the shooting. Mr. Dixon's conviction was affirmed by the appeals courts. He served 28 years before being released and it was in large part because of the interest taken by Golf Digest, of all publications. It is a truly fascinating and frustrating saga. Wrongful convictions hurt everyone, the innocent person loses years, decades of their life that can never be recovered, the victim and the public are decided and are sold a false sense of security while the true culprit remains free to commit more crimes, creating more victims, and tax dollars are spent incarcerating an innocent person. DNA does not exist in every case and there is no guarantee that it was preserved if it was collected begging the question, how many more innocent people are populating our crowded prisons? Click here to see the episode on our website Resources mentioned in this episodehttps://www.innocenceproject.org/cases/douglas-warney/https://www.innocenceproject.org/golf-digest-helps-wrongly-convicted-man-regain-freedom/https://www.golfdigest.com/story/for-valentino-dixon-a-wrong-righted-murder-charge-vacated-by-court-after-serving-27-years-in-prisonhttps://www.innocenceproject.org/cases/frank-sterling/https://www.innocenceproject.org/cases/freddie-peacock/https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3702https://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/22/nyregion/after-25-years-just-days-till-freedom-with-new-evidence-judge-voids-woman-s.htmlBook: Among the Lowest of the Dead: The Culture on Death Row by David Von DrehleCourt Case: McCleskey v Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987)https://www.vera.org/publications/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends/price-of-prisons-2015-state-spending-trends-prison-spending
Capture the Courts: The Trump-McConnell Judicial Takeover--Season 01 Ep 04
Get ready for a whirlwind primer in the GOP donor-funded Trump-McConnell takeover of the U.S. judiciary. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has essentially shut down the Legislative Branch for anything except confirming Trump judges. They know they’re not going to finish in Trump’s first term. If he gets a second term, they WILL finish. Already, the Trump-McConnell controlled courts have a unanimous victory on the 80 corporate cases that have appeared in front of the Supreme Court. That is 80, 5-4 decisions, in favor of corporate interests and that is EVERY case decided in favor of private interests and against the public good. Their priority is to pack the courts with judges who are young, inexperienced, and pro-corporate. McConnell and the Senate Republicans have turned the Senate and the Legislative Branch into a conveyor belt for confirming Trump judges. The House Democrats have passed over 350 bills, 90% of which have bi-partisan support, that have yet to even be considered by the Senate.The courts are all but captured and with Justice Ginsberg’s seat now vacant, the stakes for America have never been higher. Click here to view the episode on our websiteClick here to view the episode transcriptLinks to research used in this episode:The Myth of 'Captured Courts' | OpinionPresident Trump's re-election rally in TulsaAn inside look at how Trump's Supreme Court list is made: ‘A tremendous investment of time’DPCC Report: Stabenow, Schumer, Whitehouse Unveil Report Detailing GOP's Big-Money Assault on the Constitution, Our Independent Judiciary, and the Rule of LawMitch Part 4: 'Not A Happy Choice' : Embeddedhttps://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/07/he-defended-anti-gay-and-anti-muslim-causes-now-hes-an-immigration-judge/ Frequently Asked Questions, fedsoc.orgTrump’s New Judicial Litmus Test: Shrinking ‘the Administrative State’Economic Inequality and Political Representation
BONUS: McConnell Ignores Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's Dying Wish
In this BONUS episode, Mary speaks for herself and Lee, who is unable to appear on this episode. Mary pays homage to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg who recently died of pancreatic cancer. Celebrating the life of this iconic legal trailblazer who dedicated her career to challenging the patriarchal world and fought against gender discrimination in all forms. A few hours after Justice Ginsberg's death Mitch McConnell publicly announced that he will ignore Justice Ginsberg's dying wish, which was for her seat to not be filled until the next President is installed. You will hear Trump, the very next day at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C. vow to fill her Supreme Court seat quickly. This is GOP hypocrisy laid bare after they refused to fill Justice Scalia's seat 11 months before the 2016 election claiming the voters needed a say in who was nominated. The GOP is aware of the stakes and they have never been higher. The GOP donors are so close to a complete power grab. True to form, Trump says the quiet part out loud when he admits that he is counting on the captured federal courts to hand him the election by limiting what ballots actually count. The fear for democracy is real and the fight is very much on. May Ruth Bader Ginsberg's life inspire a revolution. Resources cited in this episode:https://www.c-span.org/video/?475837-1/president-trump-announce-nominee-supreme-court-next-weekhttps://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-iba-syn&hsimp=yhs-syn&hspart=iba&p=Lindsey+Graham+use+my+words+video#id=2&vid=f034f8b39d4e9e9810e3600f2e31c2b9&action=click
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
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!
Great listen for anyone who is interested in the US court system.
I would highly recommend this podcast to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the legal system in the United States. The hosts not only talk about current issues in the court system, but give a broader overview as well. They speak in a conversational manner which makes the information interesting and relatable to people with no legal background.