Ep. 30 – The Politics of the Airwaves

Why was the FCC created and what was its original purpose? Thomas Hazlett, former chief economist of the FCC, discusses the politics of the FCC and issues like censorship and net neutrality.

Investigating a President

Josh Chafetz— It’s hard to keep track of all of the ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign and administration. At the very least, we know of inquiries by special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI under the auspices of the Justice Department and by four separate congressional committees: the House

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Notions of Common Law in Medieval Islam

Mohammad Fadel— The great western scholar of Islamic law, the late Joseph Schacht, famously characterized Islamic law as a “jurist’s law,” by which he meant to draw scholarly attention to the central role that scholars of the law—the fuqahāʾ (s. faqīh)—played in the formulation of Islamic law in contrast to

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Can Presidents Be Prosecuted?

Brian Kalt— President Trump has been nothing if not unconventional. Time and again, he has upended traditions and institutions, blowing past those who say, “You can’t do that!” and replying, “I just did!” But in the process of upsetting so many apple carts, he is also teeing up an object lesson in

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Why Should Speech Be Free?

Timothy Garton Ash— The fact that most states in the world have signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of expression, and make such promises in their constitutions, does not answer the question: why should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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The Substance of the Constitution: Rights, Structures, Conventions

Mark Tushnet— Donald Trump’s election and the first weeks of his presidency show us some of the ways in which the Constitution matters. When trying to understand how our constitutional system works, I like to identify three “parts” of the Constitution: rights, structures, and conventions. It’s easiest to focus our

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Criminal Politicians on the World Stage

Milan Vaishnav— On February 11, voters in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) began the process of selecting the 403 men and women who will represent them in their state legislature. In India, where elections are about as frequent as a new Bollywood blockbuster, the news of yet another

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The Women Who Pioneered Media Privacy Laws

Jessica Lake— What would you do if you came across a video featuring your naked body on Facebook? On March 7th this year, Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews won a claim for “invasion of privacy” against both a stalker and the Nashville Marriott hotel after the stalker, Michael David Barrett, secretly

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Arthur Johnson’s Life in Solitary Confinement

Keramet Reiter— Arthur Johnson, sixty-four, has spent thirty-seven years in solitary confinement, locked in a cell no bigger than a wheelchair-accessible bathroom stall. He is living his fourth decade without once having shared a meal—or even a handshake—with another human being. Astonishingly, Johnson has committed only three extraordinarily minor disciplinary violations

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