Boom! Lawyered

By Rewire News Group's Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy

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 Sep 9, 2020

 May 17, 2020
Supreme court updates done with humor. Very helpful for non-lawyers.

 Apr 17, 2019

 Jan 23, 2019

 Jul 8, 2018


Every week, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy take you on a wild ride through the latest legal battles in the fight for reproductive justice. On everything from abortion rights to trans discrimination to racial justice, Boom! Lawyered will help you get smart, stay mad, have fun, and fight back. Produced by Rewire News Group.

Episode Date
This City Wants Your Racist Uncle to Enforce Their Abortion Ban

Heads up! If you can help us reach our fundraising goal at, Jess and Imani will film the wildest and smashiest live event in Rewire News Group history next week! Check out that donate page for more info.


Lubbock, Texas, passed a “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance, a so-called heartbeat ban that would ban abortion at around six weeks. The ban would allow anyone to sue to enforce the ban—and not just anyone in Lubbock or Texas. Anyone in the country could decide to sue a Lubbock abortion provider. Or a few thousand people could decide to sue one of those providers at once.

The law can't take effect for now, thank goodness, but that could change.

Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions in Lubbock, challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance in federal court. But in a shocking decision, the court dismissed the case. And the logic used to justify the decision should alarm anyone concerned about abortion rights. Because the Lubbock ban isn't the only one with this terrible clause—the statewide Texas ban, which is also currently unenforceable, would also allow for private enforcement of their ban should it ever take effect.

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani dissect the impact of this shocking decision. They also give their weekly update on the latest developments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the direct challenge to Roe v. Wade that the Supreme Court is expected to hear in the fall.

Jun 10, 2021
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Plan to End Roe

This direct challenge to Roe v. Wade didn't reach the Supreme Court by accident. It was the culmination of a detailed plan that was hiding in plain sight.

Actually, that doesn't do it justice—the deep-pocketed anti-choice movement was begging everyone years ago to listen to exactly how it planned to obliterate abortion rights: by passing a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi and defending it all the way to a revamped Supreme Court.

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani take us inside that plan to either end Roe or make it "totally irrelevant," and they explain how it's snaked its way to the precipice of victory.

Rewire News Group is a nonprofit media org, which means that Boom! Lawyered is only made possible by the support of listeners like you! If you can, please join our team by donating here:

May 27, 2021
Emergency Pod: The Supreme Court Just Fired a Major Warning Shot at Roe

The Supreme Court announced today it would be taking up a case that could completely upend abortion rights.

Back in 2018, Mississippi passed a law that banned abortion at 15 weeks. It was struck down at the district level. Then the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a notoriously conservative appeals court, struck it down, citing the clear precedent of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. And if the Supreme Court agreed that this was obviously unconstitutional, they could have easily just refused to take the case.

But they finally took the case.

On this emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani explore what today's news portends for abortion in America and when we can expect this all to come to a head. They are also joined by special guest Hillary Schneller, the lead attorney on the case from the Center for Reproductive Rights, who explains how this case could determine the extent of the government's ability to mess with our fundamental rights.

May 17, 2021
Meet the Republican AGs Driving Their Party Off a Cliff

RAGA is the Republican Attorneys General Association. It's essentially what it sounds like—a bunch of Republican attorneys general whose goal is to get other Republican attorneys general elected to office. Seems (relatively) normal, right?

Well, it would be, except the group has gone completely off the deep end. On top of a lot of their members fighting to overturn the 2020 election, there are disturbing connections between RAGA and the insurrection at the Capitol in January.

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani take us into the smoky back-room world of RAGA to give us an inside look at their half-alarming, half-embarrassing schemes and the creeps behind them.

May 13, 2021
The Unconstitutional Case the Supreme Court Can't Stop Talking About

Fact #1: Everyone agrees—Mississippi’s lawyers included—that no fetus is viable at 15 weeks.

Fact #2: Mississippi passed an abortion ban that takes effect at 15 weeks.

Fact #3: Pre-viability abortion bans have been ruled unconstitutional.

Combined, these three facts mean that courts should have no trouble striking down Mississippi's ban. And yet! Arguments over that ban have made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices have conferenced on whether to hear the case almost twenty times. What gives?

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani and Jess try to get inside the heads of the justices to make sense of what's going on—and whether all of their indecision could be resolved with the right self-care routine.

May 06, 2021
The Case of the Cursing Cheerleader Reaches the Supreme Court

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a former high school student who posted a photo of herself and a friend on Snapchat with their middle fingers raised. The caption read, “fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” Have you fainted in outrage yet?

Brandi Levy was a freshman at a Pennsylvania high school when she tried out for the varsity cheerleading team. She didn’t make it, and ended up on the JV squad. She probably wasn't happy about that and posted the Snapchat in question. The cheerleading coaches caught wind of it and suspended her from cheerleading for a year.

In response, Levy's father filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU, alleging that the school had violated his daughter’s First Amendment rights. And now this case may decide some major questions about the rights of minors like:

  • What free speech rights do students have outside of school?
  • Can their free speech rights be abridged 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?
  • What counts as private versus public speech in the era of social media?

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani wade into all of this and more. Gooooo team!

Apr 29, 2021
Texas Is Trying to Take Trans Kids From Loving Parents

Just when you thought lawmakers couldn't stoop any lower to attack trans kids, Texas state senators took it to a new level with the introduction of a bill that would prohibit parents from "administering or supplying, or consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of puberty suppression prescription drug or cross-sex hormone to a child, other than an intersex child, for the purpose of gender transitioning or gender reassignment." And if parents don't comply, the state could take their child. Seriously!

This follows on the heels of other anti-trans bills in Arkansas and North Carolina. Fortunately, Jess and Imani are here to explain everything you need to know about what's happening and what can be done about it.

Boom! Lawyered is created by Rewire News Group. We're a nonprofit media outlet, and that means your contributions are essential to funding our work. So if you enjoy Boom! Lawyered, please consider donating here:

Apr 15, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About Georgia Voter Suppression

Jess and Imani explain three of the most alarming pieces of legislation introduced anywhere in the United States:

-The voter suppression legislation in Georgia, which might be even more outrageous than most folks realize.

-A new abortion ban in Texas, which goes even farther than your typical effort to criminalize health care.

-The anti-trans bill in Arkansas, which is poised to take effect despite a veto from Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Can somebody stop this ride? We'd like to get out now.

Boom! Lawyered is made by Rewire News Group, a nonprofit media org. That means your support plays a huge role in making the show possible. If you can, please donate at https://rewirenewsgroup/boomgive

Apr 08, 2021
Biden Plans to Give the Courts a Much-Needed Kick in the Pants

President Joe Biden's recent slate of judicial nominees are more than a breath of fresh air—they represent a serious step forward in building a more just legal system. And we need good judges now more than ever because state legislatures around the country are trying to pass some terrible laws. For example, an alarming new bill in Arkansas could strip trans kids of necessary health care.

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has more anti-choice shenanigans up his sleeve. What is his procedural maneuver, and will it work? Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy break down all of this and more on Boom! Lawyered.

If you enjoy Boom! Lawyered, please consider supporting us! We're a media nonprofit so your donations are essential to making this podcast possible.

Apr 01, 2021
Reacting to the Atlanta Shootings

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani and Jess talk about the increasing violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the importance of allyship in its wake, and how racist stereotypes against the AAPI community are also fueling new anti-choice legislation. In a bit of good news, the Biden administration's getting serious about new judicial nominees and the candidates being vetted should inspire hope.

Rewire News Group is a nonprofit media organization, and that means Boom! Lawyered is funded in no small part by listeners like you. If you can, please support us  at

Mar 18, 2021
Arkansas Woos Amy Coney Barrett With a Very Bad Ban

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill Tuesday that would ban all abortions in the state except those deemed a “medical emergency.” If it takes effect in August as planned, it'll be the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. Fortunately, legal challenges should be on the way. But is that what they want?

In better news, the COVID-19 stimulus package has a lot of health-care goodies in it, and the Biden administration is out to undo Betsy DeVos' damage to campus sexual assault protections when she was the education secretary. Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy cover all of this and more on this episode of Boom! Lawyered.

Rewire News Group is a nonprofit, which means listeners like you make Boom! Lawyered possible. If you can, support us at!

Mar 11, 2021
Remember When We Could Hug?

One year ago today, Jess Pieklo and Imani Gandy were on the steps of the Supreme Court for the oral arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo. Since then, everyone's lives—and the Supreme Court itself—have been turned completely upside down. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani reflect on everything that's changed and what lies ahead.

Rewire News Group is a nonprofit, so your support makes this podcast possible. If you can, please support us so we can keep this wild ride going.


Mar 04, 2021
Supreme Court Election Conspiracies and Abortion Cases

Justice Clarence Thomas has gone full election truther. And if that's not enough to make you sweat, the most conservative Supreme Court of our lifetimes just took on its first abortion rights case of 2021. Oh, and a Virginia school district is going back to court because apparently they're that desperate to discriminate against trans kids. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imany Gandy explain how progressives are fighting back on all of these fronts.

Rewire News Group is a nonprofit media org, and that means we rely on support from listeners like you to make Boom! Lawyered. If you can, please consider helping us produce this show by donating here!

Feb 25, 2021
How to Bankrupt the Proud Boys

The impeachment trial was going so well! Alas, the Democrats managed to tie themselves into knots and fumble away the narrative. But all is not lost, thanks to a creative lawsuit that invokes the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. Meanwhile, the Biden administration took some bold steps to rescue the Affordable Care Act from a Supreme Court disaster while 30 (!) states are gearing up to attack abortion rights and trans kids. So it's all a bit of a roller-coaster. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo will help you try and hang on.

If you enjoy Boom! Lawyered, please consider supporting us at! As a nonprofit, we rely on your donations to keep the content flowing.

Feb 18, 2021
Put Imani Gandy on the Bench, You Cowards

This week, the nation reckoned with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's terrifying account of the insurrection at the Capitol. Democrats also discussed plans to un-bleep the courts, but will they go far enough? And the Department of Justice signaled a major sea-change on immigration. Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo help you make sense of all of these topics and more in this latest episode of Boom! Lawyered. Listen now!

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do at

Feb 04, 2021
Nuke the Filibuster?

The filibuster was created by accident. Now, it's one of the most controversial and crucial components of our clunky mess of a government. But is it a good thing or a bad thing? On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy dig into whether the filibuster helps or hurts progressives in the long run, how to work around it, and whether those workarounds offer any path to stronger abortion protections.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at

Jan 28, 2021
Hey Joe, It Feels Good to Say the 'A' Word

On day one of his White House term, President Joe Biden made big moves to protect LGBTQ and undocumented folks, called out the dangers of white supremacy, and more. It was a helluva start! But there was one minor kerfuffle at the end of the day. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo break down the moments to celebrate and explain why Biden and his surrogates should unapologetically proclaim their support for abortion access.

To support Boom! Lawyered, please donate at

Jan 21, 2021
Hunting Nazis with the New Department of Justice

Last week, President-elect Joe Biden announced his key nominees for the Department of Justice. And those nominees—Merrick Garland, Vanita Gupta, and Kristen Clarke—talked a big game about dismantling fascism and advancing progressive justice. It was exciting stuff! But who exactly are these folks? Can we trust them to back up their words with actions? And what can we expect from them regarding the safety of abortion clinics, providers, and patients?

Our Boom! Lawyered podcast has returned in the new year with Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo, and they'll answer those questions and more.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at

Jan 14, 2021
Making Sense of It All, Reality TV-Style: Roe v. Wade, Episode 5

Welcome to the re-release of We’ll Hear Arguments, a mini-series from the Boom! Lawyered team that dives into the dramatic arguments of the most important Supreme Court cases in history.

To honor the absurd shenanigans of the Roe v. Wade arguments, we complete our mini-series with a reality tv-style reunion episode that will leave you with all the feels.


Jan 08, 2021
Closing the Courthouse Doors: Roe v. Wade, Episode 4

Welcome to the re-release of We’ll Hear Arguments, a mini-series from the Boom! Lawyered team that dives into the dramatic arguments of the most important Supreme Court cases in history.

When is a case not a case? When the plaintiff doesn't have a right to sue! And would you believe that Texas tried to argue that Jane Roe didn't even have a right to be in court? Buckle up for episode three of our five-part roller coaster on the grandmama of all abortion cases.

Jan 07, 2021
The State’s (Creeping) Interest: Roe v. Wade, Episode 3

Welcome to the re-release of We’ll Hear Arguments, a mini-series from the Boom! Lawyered team that dives into the dramatic arguments of the most important Supreme Court cases in history.

Our third episode on Roe v. Wade puts the ol’ magnifying glass on a simple but messy question: what gives a state the right to regulate what kind of medicine someone accesses?


Jan 06, 2021
A Great Balancing Test: Roe v. Wade, Episode 2

Welcome to the re-release of We’ll Hear Arguments, a mini-series from the Boom! Lawyered team that dives into the dramatic arguments of the most important Supreme Court cases in history.

Today, our two legal heroines embark on part 2 of their five-part dive into Roe v. Wade to answer the age old question: what's more important, a living pregnant person or a group of cells that exist inside them? It’s a real head-scratcher! 

Jan 05, 2021
Being Born Kind of Matters: Roe v. Wade, Episode 1

Welcome to the re-release of We’ll Hear Arguments, a mini-series from the Boom! Lawyered team that dives into the dramatic arguments of the most important Supreme Court cases in history.  

You see, our greatest courtroom dramas aren’t streaming on Netflix or Hulu or even HBOMax! They happened in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. And We’ll Hear Arguments breaks down all the juiciest, most consequential, and most batshit moments.

This series launched as a separate podcast series in early 2020. But now that Boom! Lawyered has grown so much as a community, we thought it made sense to unite the shows into one giant, unstoppable podcast feed. We’ll add an episode each day from January 4 through January 9.

So which case did we tackle Here at Rewire News Group, we like to think of ourselves as your one stop shop for all things abortion. So, naturally, our first season of We’ll Hear Arguments is a tribute to the case that started it all. Maybe you’ve heard of it? That’s right folks—we’re talking about Roe v. Wade.

Episode 1, aptly titled “Being Born Kind of Matters” kicks off with a rousing discussion about the fight at the heart of Roe: a Texas law prohibiting abortion. And if you’re like, hey that sounds… familiar, well, that’s probably because in the 30 plus years since Roe was decided, conservatives have tried to pass countless new laws that do exactly that. At the heart of this case was the matter of personhood—another issue that continues to rear its ugly head (a head that weirdly looks a lot like Amy Coney Barrett these days, but we digress.) 

Jan 04, 2021
Coming January 4th-8th: Our Roe v. Wade Mini-Series Joins the Boom! Lawyered Feed

Last year, we made a thing we love: a mini-series all about the surprisingly dramatic Supreme Court arguments of Roe v. Wade.  

The show is called We’ll Hear Arguments, and we originally released it as its own podcast. But now that the Boom! Lawyered community has grown so much, we decided to re-release it here and unite the feeds.

If you’ve never heard We’ll Hear Arguments, check out this trailer! And if you’ve listened before, take a trip down memory lane with us, back to a time when people could actually meet in the same recording studio and make something special…

Jan 01, 2021
Our Wildest Memories of the Trump Era

We have a big end-of-year campaign underway, and your generous donations make our podcast possible! If you can, please support Boom! Lawyered at

Donald Trump spent his entire presidency mangling the courts and the law, and Rewire News Group's Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy covered every major moment of it. But the last four years weren't all bad!  A few rays of hope managed to escape from the darkness, and they're worth celebrating, too. In this final Boom! Lawyered episode of 2020, Jess and Imani reflect on their best, worst, and most shocking memories of an unforgettable era in the American legal system

Dec 10, 2020
Will the Supreme Court Let Trump Rig the Census?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a case that could ultimately decide if the Trump administration can rig the census by excluding undocumented people. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo recap today's events and break down everything you need to know about this latest battle in the right to be counted as a person. 

Nov 30, 2020
Health Care on Trial at the Supreme Court

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that threatens to finally do what conservatives have spent the last ten years failing at: striking down the Affordable Care Act. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy break down the key battles and what they portend for the future of our health-care system.

If you’d like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so here: 

Nov 10, 2020
As Votes Are Counted, the Supreme Court Considers Green-Lighting Discrimination

Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia—a key case in the conservative strategy to dismantle laws that protect LGBTQ people. At the core of the case is a chilling question: Under the guise of "religious freedom," does the Constitution mandate government discrimination? On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo break down the arguments and what they portend for the future of LGBTQ rights in the United States.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at

Nov 04, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Is Already Out of Line

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Monday evening. Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo use her first day on the job to take stock of her wildly inappropriate appearance with Trump last night during her swearing-in ceremony, the effectiveness (or lack thereof?) of Senate opposition, and how the mainstream media handled itself during this unprecedented power-grab.

Rewire News Group has been covering Barrett's nomination and confirmation every step of the way. Check out our full coverage here.

And if you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at

Oct 27, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Is Confirmed. Does the Law Even Matter Anymore?

It's official. With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court today, conservatives now have a 6-3 majority and a death-grip on the institution and the law. But as grim as things seem, all is not lost. On this special episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy explain how Barrett's appointment will impact our rights immediately and what progressives can do to fight back.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please visit:

Oct 27, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Hearings, Day Three: Make Birth Control Illegal Again

Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy recap the third day of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

On Wednesday, Barrett flubbed the basics of the First Amendment, refused to denounce poll taxes, and couldn't confirm that a right to privacy exists. Oh, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) seemed nostalgic about segregation? Join Jess and Imani as they wade through it all on our final podcast of the week (barring yet another huge surprise!).

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so here.

Oct 14, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Hearings, Day Two: No Notes

Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy recap the second day of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation process.

On Tuesday, she refused to answer a lot of questions but still managed to make some pretty wild statements on health care, the LGBTQ community, and more. How did senators respond to them? And is any kind of meaningful opposition strategy emerging from the Democrats? Find out all of that and more!

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so here.

Oct 14, 2020
Amy Coney Barrett Hearings, Day One: None of This Is Normal

Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation process is officially underway. On Monday, we heard opening statements first from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and then Barrett—and the day was almost too normal. Did Democrats do themselves a disservice by playing along? Did Barrett acknowledge any of the outrageous circumstances of her nomination? And what's next in the wild week ahead? Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy recap all of that and more on the first of Boom! Lawyered's daily recaps of these hearings.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so here.

Oct 12, 2020
Expand the Courts (Without Overthinking It)

As Boom! Lawyered returns for its fifth season, #TeamLegal has come to the inexorable conclusion that it's time to expand the courts. But is there a non-messy way to do that? How much math has to be involved? And what can be done about the conservative radicalization of the lower courts? Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy dive into all of that and more.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please visit:

Oct 08, 2020
The Wild Resume of Amy Coney Barrett

Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, has challenged marriage equality, opposed abortion rights, misgendered transgender people, and so much more. How likely is she to join the Court? And what's being done to block her nomination? #TeamLegal experts Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo walk you through of that and more on this special episode of Boom! Lawyered.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered please do so at: 


Sep 26, 2020
Tonight, We Lost a Giant

RIP, Justice Ginsburg. Nothing will be the same.

Sep 19, 2020
Rapid Reaction: A Good Day for Theocracy at SCOTUS

Employers who love to wield religious freedom as a cudgel scored a couple big wins at the U.S. Supreme Court today, including a decision allowing employers to meddle with the birth control of their employees based on "conscientious objections." Jess and Imani explain what happened and whether there's any logic to this expansion of your employer's power over your health-care decisions.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at or text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321.

Jul 08, 2020
What It's Like to Argue—and Win—at the Supreme Court

Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights did the unthinkable in 2020: As the lead attorney representing June Medical in June Medical Services v. Russo, she convinced Chief Justice John Roberts to sign onto a decision protecting abortion rights! She joins Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy to discuss what it's like to argue before the Supreme Court, to try and get some sleep the night before, and to call your client to deliver news of the win.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at or text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321. Your support makes this show possible!

Jul 02, 2020
Rapid Reaction: A Great Decision (Plus a Roberts Time Bomb) on Abortion Access

The June Medical Services v. Russo decision is in, and it's 5-4 in favor of the very obvious truth: Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt already decided this shit. Chief Justice John Roberts is forced to concur, but his dissent lays out a troubling roadmap for the next round of anti-choice restrictions. Jess and Imani explain all of this and more.

And on Tuesday June 30 at 11am ET, join Jess and Imani for an Instagram Live discussion of the case at — tell your friends!

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at or text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321.



Jun 29, 2020
Rapid Reaction: Supreme Court Protects DREAMers

For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court came down on the side of justice! On Thursday morning, it blocked the Trump administration's efforts to rescind DACA in a 5-4 decision. In this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy explain the decision, how Justice Sotomayor added an extra dollop of truth, and whether Trump has any hope of finding a workaround.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, join us at or text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321.

Jun 18, 2020
Rapid Reaction: Supreme Court Protects LGBTQ Employees

A big Supreme Court decision just arrived, and it's comprehensively awesome. In a 6-3 ruling, the Court confirmed that "an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law." In this emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo react to the decision—written by Neil Gorsuch, of all people—and the extremely salty dissent.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please donate at or text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321.

Jun 15, 2020
How to Defund the Police

Racism is baked into the U.S. model of policing. More and more people are starting to believe that no amount of "reform" will help; a full tear-down is required. But what does "defunding the police" actually mean? What would happen to people who need to report a crime? And are we sure the police have ever actually been effective at any of the services they're supposed to provide? Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo dive into those questions and more on the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered.


Support Boom! Lawyered at — or by texting "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321.

Jun 11, 2020
This School Keeps Fighting to Discriminate Against Trans Kids

Gavin Grimm has been challenging a policy at his former high school that requires transgender students to use separate bathroom facilities. On Tuesday, the case landed in federal appeals court. Jess and Imani break down the arguments and explain why the school's pleas to keep discriminating are so horribly misguided.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, text "BOOMGIVE" to 44-321 or go to today!

May 28, 2020
'Jane Roe' Lied to Us for Decades!

The Daily Beast just reported that the upcoming FX documentary AKA Jane Roe reveals that Norma McCorvey, aka "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, admitted on film that her anti-choice conversion was "all an act." On this emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani react to the shocking news and what it means for the abortion rights fight ahead.

For more on Roe v. Wade, check out #TeamLegal's other podcast series, We'll Hear Arguments:

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please do so at

May 19, 2020
Arkansas Created a Pandemic Catch-22 to Block Abortions

On April 27, Arkansas officials issued a directive requiring anyone seeking elective surgery to obtain a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to an abortion. Can you guess which elective procedure those officials were primarily targeting? Yep, that's right: procedural abortion.

Advocates almost immediately sued on behalf of three patients who needed an abortion, hadn’t been able to get a COVID-19 test, and were closing in on the deadline imposed by Arkansas' 20-week abortion ban. According to the lawsuit, Little Rock Family Planning Services had contacted more than 15 testing locations but couldn’t find a single place that would test asymptomatic people. Now the courts have weighed in, and it's a hot mess.

On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo explain everything happening in Arkansas and ask: Why can people go to the orthodontist without a test—but not the abortion provider?

Support Jess, Imani, and Boom! Lawyered at:

May 14, 2020
Rapid Reaction: The Latest Birth Control Battle at the Supreme Court

Believe it or not, the U.S. Supreme Court is still hearing cases on the birth control benefit! Jess and Imani hop on the mics after Wednesday's arguments to break down everything you need to know, including:

  • The highlights and lowlights from the arguments
  • The future of contraceptive coverage
  • Whether Brett Kavanaugh horribly embarrassed himself
  • The justices' ongoing battle with the mute button
  • And more!

Support Boom! Lawyered at

May 06, 2020
SCOTUS Preview: The Nuns Are Coming for Your Birth Control

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two consolidated cases that could kill off the birth control benefit for good. Jess and Imani preview everything you need to know.

If you'd like to support Boom! Lawyered, please visit:

Apr 30, 2020
Actual Good News on COVID-19 Abortion Bans

The landscape of abortion access is shifting rapidly, and it feels something new is happening every day. Which states are trying to use COVID-19 to try and ban abortion? How are the courts responding? It’s almost impossible to keep up. Fortunately, Jess and Imani are here to bring us up to speed on the latest developments in Texas, Ohio, Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, and the rest of the country.

You can support Boom! Lawyered at today!

Apr 16, 2020
Shredding the Claim that Abortion Clinic Protests Are an 'Essential Service'

Do you know who's not staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Abortion clinic protesters. In this episode, Jess and Imani lay waste to the claim that protesting an abortion clinic during a global pandemic is an "essential service" and discuss whether the courts will look the other way, anyway.

Love Boom! Lawyered? Support us here:

Apr 09, 2020
Rapid Reaction: Texas Abortion Ban Takes Effect Immediately

On March 31, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas lawmakers to exploit the COVID-19 outbreak to ban abortion services—effective immediately. Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo hop on the mic to discuss what happened, what this means, and what's likely to happen next in Texas and around the country.

Want to support Boom! Lawyered? Help us here!

Mar 31, 2020
Coronavirus and the Courts

The coronavirus crisis has forced the U.S. Supreme Court to hit pause. What will happen to cases that have been argued, like June Medical Services v. Russo? What will happen to other important cases yet to be argued? And how concerned should we be for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Imani and Jess discuss these questions and more on the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered.

If you'd like to support our show, please donate here!

Mar 19, 2020
Texas Is Trying to Make 'Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn' a Thing

Eleven towns in East Texas recently declared themselves "sanctuary cities for the unborn." Seriously. Jess and Imani explain why this ridiculous idea might be the first step of a scary new strategy from the anti-choice movement.

Mar 12, 2020
June Medical Services v. Russo Arguments: Rapid Reaction

Jess was inside the Supreme Court for arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo. Then she literally ran across the street to record this podcast with Imani to bring the rest of us up to speed on the most important and surprising moments of the day.

Mar 04, 2020
June Medical Services v. Russo Preview

On March 4th, the Supreme Court will hear the first major abortion rights case since Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench. Jess and Imani preview what's at stake and explain the sleeper issue that could upend abortion rights law as we know it.

Feb 27, 2020
Anti-Choice Lawmakers Declare the Constitution Null and Void in Indiana

ALERT: Our new series We'll Hear Arguments comes out on 2/25! Subscribe here for the coolest breakdown of Roe v. Wade ever:

Now back to our regular programming: An alarming new bill in Indiana asserts that life begins at conception, and federal laws that “fail to protect a person’s inalienable right to life” are null and void in the Hoosier State. In other words, anti-choice lawmakers claim that the Constitution is null and void in Indiana—and their counterparts in other states could soon follow suit. On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy explain the latest fad in anti-choice legislation and whether it could actually hold up in court.

Feb 20, 2020
COMING FEBRUARY 25: A new Roe v. Wade podcast series from the Boom! Lawyered team!

We have some big news for Boom! Lawyered subscribers: Jess and Imani are launching a second podcast series on February 25th!  It's not available yet, but we wanted to give our listeners a special preview...

The new show is called We'll Hear Arguments, and it explores the dramatic, inspiring, and infuriating arguments of Roe v. Wade from 1971 and 1972.

This journey into the past is extremely relevant to the present as the Supreme Court prepares to take its first crack at decimating Roe in March. So we hope you’ll join us for our five-part series when it launches.

Stay tuned for links to the new feed and more! And don’t worry, B!L will still be going strong as we cover current news and events around the courts and our rights, as well.

Feb 03, 2020
Leonard Leo's Next Evil Venture

Federalist Society heavyweight Leonard Leo is one of the primary architects of the conservative takeover of the federal courts. Now, he's got a new dark money project that could cement that takeover for a generation or more. Imani and Jess explain Leo's new plan and just how scary things could get if it works.

Jan 16, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the Abortion Rights Fight in 2020

Reason bans! D&E bans! Pre-viability bans! TRAP laws! And a landmark Supreme Court case. 

2020 is shaping up to be a wild ride for abortion rights in the United States. In our final Boom! Lawyered episode of 2019, Imani and Jess map out everything worth following in the year ahead.

Dec 19, 2019
Emergency Pod: The Supreme Court Rubber-Stamps Kentucky Forced Ultrasound Law

Today, the Supreme Court declined an appeal challenging a Kentucky law that forces doctors to show and describe ultrasound images before performing an abortion—even if patients avert their eyes or ask the doctor to stop. In this emergency episode, Jess and Imani explain what this means for the First Amendment and abortion rights in Kentucky and around the country.

Dec 09, 2019
Will the Supreme Court Block Abortion Providers from Suing on Behalf of Their Patients?

June Medical Services v. Gee could upend over four decades of abortion rights precedent when the case goes before the U.S. Supreme Court in March. That's because, as part of their decision, the justices will rule on whether abortion providers can sue on behalf of their patients. Imani and Jess explain why this is a big deal and how the Court is likely to decide.

Dec 05, 2019
'He Performed an Abortion and Then Burned Down My House!'

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone tried to perform an abortion while committing arson or burglary? Ohio lawmakers have, and they've proposed a massive new ban to deal with that hypothetical—and a whole lot more. Jess and Imani break down a 723-page bill that will leave your jaw on the floor.

Nov 27, 2019
Arkansas Is Trying to Invent the 'Abortion Deadline'

When is a ban not a ban? When it's a deadline! Imani and Jess dive into the absurd arguments that Arkansas is making in the hopes that its pre-viability abortion ban will stick. Will the courts buy these new claims? Are other states following suit? B!L answers those questions and more. 

Nov 21, 2019
'Abortion Reversal' Is B.S.

Imani and Jess debunk the latest frontier in junk science: "abortion reversal." As more states pass laws forcing doctors to promote this myth, the courts continue to step in and block them. But if more people don't recognize the bad-faith claims underlying "abortion reversal," that could change—and sooner than we might think.

Nov 07, 2019
Bathroom Panic at the Supreme Court

During recent Supreme Court arguments about trans rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, one of the justices appeared to buy into the idea of "bathroom panic." That may not seem surprising—except that the justice in question was Sonia Sotomayor. Imani and Jess explain what happened, where Justice Sotomayor went wrong, and why "bathroom panic" arguments don't hold up under scrutiny.

Oct 24, 2019
Forced Ultrasound and the First Amendment

There's only one abortion clinic left in Kentucky, and by law its doctors must place ultrasound images in the patient’s view and read a state-mandated script. Recently, the ACLU filed a petition on behalf of the clinic asking the Supreme Court to step in. Imani and Jess explain the forced ultrasound law, its harms, and how the Roberts Court could protect—or devastate—the free speech rights of providers if they take the case.

Oct 17, 2019
Rapid Reaction: The Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Whether You Can Be Fired for Being Gay or Trans

This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the three cases that will ultimately decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects gay and trans employees from employment discrimination. Jess attended the arguments and then joined Imani for a breakdown of the most important moments. Jess then interviews Claudia Trevor-Wright about the experience of being arrested during Court-related protest actions.

Oct 08, 2019
Emergency Pod: The Supreme Court Takes June Medical Services v. Gee

Friday morning, the Supreme Court announced it was taking June Medical Services v. Gee. In this emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy discuss why this is a direct threat to reproductive rights and the value of legal precedent.

For more, please read:

Supreme Court Takes First Abortion Rights Case With Kavanaugh on the Bench

Boom! Lawyered: Standing Edition

Oct 04, 2019
The Supreme Court Will Decide If an Employer Can Fire Someone for Being Gay or Trans

On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases to determine whether sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination and thus prevented under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Jess and Imani explain these landmark cases and what to expect from the day of arguments next week.

Oct 03, 2019
The Big, Bad 2019 Abortion Rights Supreme Court Preview Episode

The first full Supreme Court term featuring Brett Kavanaugh is less than a week away. Jess and Imani preview the important abortion rights cases to keep an eye on and everything that hangs in the balance.

For all the latest updates on these cases and more, visit Rewire.News.

Sep 26, 2019
Predicting the Next Two Years

The last couple years have been a wild ride, to say the least. Boom! Lawyered celebrates our two-year anniversary by looking ahead to the next two years. What's in store for reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, and the integrity of the Supreme Court? Jess and Imani offer their predictions—and a ray of hope.

Sep 19, 2019
Will the Supreme Court Make It Easier for Abortion Protesters to Threaten People?

In Chicago, no one within 50 feet of an abortion clinic is allowed to get closer than eight feet to another person. Anti-choice groups have challenged this "bubble zone" ordinance, and the Supreme Court is about to decide whether to hear them out. Jess and Imani explain what's at stake for clinics, providers, and patients in Chicago and around the country if John Roberts and friends take the case.

For more, watch the Rewire.News original documentary, "Care in Chaos."

Sep 12, 2019
Scalia's Son May Be Trump's New Tool (to Dismantle Civil Rights)

The Department of Labor has proposed a rule that could gut civil rights protections for the employees of more than 42,000 businesses that hold a federal contract. Imani and Jess explain the rule, its impact, and why former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia might roll over in his grave if he knew his son could be tasked with enforcing it. 

Anyone can comment on this law here.

Sep 05, 2019
The Missouri Abortion Ban You Didn’t Hear About

This week, a federal court blocked Missouri’s multi-week gestational ban. But did you know that another restriction banning abortions based on the race, sex, or Down syndrome diagnosis of a fetus was allowed to take effect? Jess and Imani explain the faulty logic of these bans and how this decision paves the way for more trouble down the road.

Read more from Jess here.

Aug 29, 2019
How John Roberts Helped Trump Defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood recently announced it will withdraw from the federal family planning program known as Title X because of President Donald Trump’s domestic "gag rule." Imani and Jess explain this crisis and how Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts helped lay the foundation for it.

Aug 22, 2019
This New Challenge to Roe Might Be the Most Dangerous Yet

Shameless Tennessee lawmakers are trying to redefine fetal viability in a way that makes no medical sense and is designed as a direct attack on Roe v. Wade. Jess and Imani explain what makes this bill a dangerous escalation in the decades-long crusade to overturn Roe.

Aug 15, 2019
Trump Judge Approves Manslaughter Charges for Pregnancy Loss

Recently, the ultra-conservative 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated an involuntary manslaughter charge against a Native woman from Sisseton, South Dakota. That charge is based on allegations that she ingested illegal drugs while pregnant, resulting in the death of her newborn. Jess and Imani explain why this decision is an alarming escalation of the anti-choice efforts to establish fetal personhood and punish people for their pregnancy outcomes.

Aug 08, 2019
The Hidden Secrets of Jess and Imani

It's no secret that Imani and Jess are as close as they are smart. But what secrets have they kept from each other? And what secrets have they kept from us? All is revealed on this special episode of Boom! Lawyered.

Jul 18, 2019
This Lawsuit Could Bring Reproductive Justice to the Supreme Court

SisterSong v. Kemp may be the first major lawsuit centering the reality that attacks on access to abortion care disproportionately harm communities of color. Imani and Jess explain the case and how it could introduce the concept of reproductive justice to the Supreme Court.  

Jul 11, 2019
There Are Concentration Camps for Kids at the Border. Is Any of This Legal?

Last week, a Department of Justice lawyer stunned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals when she argued that it is “safe and sanitary” to confine immigrant children for indefinite periods of time without basic needs like soap or toothbrushes. Jess and Imani explain the legal framework meant to protect these children and how the Trump administration intends to dismantle it.

Jun 27, 2019
This Case Could Define Transgender Rights for a Generation

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that policies targeting transgender people are sex-based discrimination that must meet heightened scrutiny to be constitutional. This is a big deal! Imani and Jess evaluate this important—but qualified—win for transgender rights and what it means for those rights in the future.

Jun 20, 2019
How the Supreme Court Could Use the Census to Bless White Power in America

The fight over the Trump administration’s questionable efforts to add a citizenship question to the census has reached the Supreme Court, and a decision looms. Jess and Imani explain the case and how a bad decision could cement inequality for generations.

Jun 13, 2019
What’s It Like to Sue the Trump Administration?

Jess sits down with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to discuss the challenges facing progressive attorneys general in the era of Trump and how they are fighting back against his administration.

Jun 06, 2019
Clarence Thomas Just Declared War on Your Birth Control

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that a provision of an Indiana law mandating the burial or cremation of fetal remains could take effect. At the same time, it blocked a separate provision of the Indiana law banning abortions based on the race, sex, or disability of a fetus. Imani and Jess explain Tuesday’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion equating modern-day family planning with eugenics, and signals from the Court’s conservatives that access to birth control is in their crosshairs.

Read Imani's award-winning Margaret Sanger piece here.

May 30, 2019
What a Challenge to 'Roe' Will Actually Look Like

Conservative lawmakers are passing total and near-total abortion bans with the explicit hope that they will be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. But how would that work, exactly? Imani and Jess explain the arguments that would fuel a legal challenge to Roe and how a bad decision could then be used to attack state laws protecting abortion rights.

Download Imani's highlighted copy of the Roe v. Wade decision. To see the highlights, use Adobe Acrobat on a computer or a PDF app on your phone.

May 23, 2019
The Supreme Court Just Trashed 40 Years of Precedent and Sounded the Alarm for Roe

Franchise Board of California v. Hyatt may not be the most important case of the Supreme Court term, but the fallout from the Court's decision to overturn decades of precedent could have major ramifications for Roe v. Wade. In fact, Justice Stephen Breyer sounded the alarm himself in his dissenting opinion. In this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani and Jess explain what happened and what it could mean for abortion rights, marriage equality, and more.

May 16, 2019
How Georgia and Kansas Reveal the Future Battleground for Abortion Rights

The near-total ban on abortion recently passed in Georgia contrasts sharply with the landmark decision in Kansas that declared abortion a natural right. Jess and Imani explore which of those paths other states are likely to follow and the main reason there's still hope for abortion rights in America.

May 09, 2019
The Master Plan to Dismantle LGBTQ Rights Is in Its Endgame

The Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear three cases that could determine what, if any, protections LGBTQ employees have from job discrimination. Jess and Imani explain what it means that the Court agreed to hear all three cases together and how the effects of a bad ruling could extend into housing and health-care discrimination.

Apr 25, 2019
If You're a Rapper, Your Lyrics Can Send You to Jail

Imani and Jess discuss the case of Jamal Knox, a young rapper who was convicted for terroristic threats and witness intimidation based on the lyrics of his music. When are words “true threats,” and when are they protected free speech? And why do most court cases on speech seem to be decided in whichever direction benefits white Christian patriarchy?

Apr 18, 2019
‘Reverse Discrimination’ Isn’t a Thing, but the Roberts Court Might Disagree

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to take a case that would give school districts the ability to affirmatively discriminate against transgender students. Jess and Imani explain how a bad decision in this case could enshrine the bogus concept of "reverse discrimination" into law, putting even more rights—and lives—at risk.

Apr 11, 2019
The GOP Is Using the Courts to Do What Congress Couldn't: Repeal the ACA

In a new filing this week, President Donald Trump's Justice Department declared that it wants the courts to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional. This comes on the heels of a recent district court decision making the same argument by U.S. District Court Judge and noted malcontent Reed O'Connor. Jess and Imani explain this new strategy, the legal errors underpinning it, and its odds of success in the Era of Kavanaugh.

Mar 28, 2019
Mailbag Edition!

Jess and Imani answer listener questions across a range of important issues. Where can we find hope for the future of reproductive rights? How soon will people feel the impact of so many recent ultra-conservative judges appointed to the lower courts? And what beverage pairs well with a delicious criminal indictment?

Mar 21, 2019
A Dude Is Suing an Alabama Abortion Clinic for 'Wrongful Death'...of an Embryo

Ryan Magers is suing the Alabama Women's Center for wrongful death because his girlfriend, who was 16 at the time, got an abortion—with the consent of her parents—against Magers's wishes. How is this even possible? And how does this case fit into the ongoing anti-choice campaign for "fetal personhood?" Imani and Jess have those answers and more. 

Mar 14, 2019
Myth-Busting the Anti-Choice 'Born Alive' Bills

Anti-choice politicians are pushing a new legislative strategy to demonize their opponents and confuse the public: so-called Born Alive bills. In this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani and Jess dissect the myths propping up this strategy and give you all the tools you need to combat anti-choice lies about later abortion.

Mar 07, 2019
The Cohen Hearing vs. the Kavanaugh Hearings

An unforgettable day of testimony on Capitol Hill began with Republicans demanding a do-over because—wait for it—they didn't get documents on time. For anyone who followed the Kavanaugh hearings, that might be funny if it wasn't so sad. And that was just the beginning!

In this emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jess and Imani discuss some of the most pressing legal questions and concerning developments from Michael Cohen's day of testimony before the House oversight committee.

Feb 27, 2019
Clarence Thomas Wants to Blow Up Defamation Law

This week, the Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal by Kathrine McKee, a woman who publicly accused Bill Cosby of raping her more than 40 years ago. As part of this decision, Clarence Thomas issued an alarming concurring opinion that may signal the start of a prolonged attack on the First Amendment in the courts. Imani and Jess explain how this fight may take shape and what could change forever if Thomas's position wins out.

Feb 21, 2019
Federal Funding to Discriminate?

In several states, there are evangelical adoption and foster care agencies trying to keep federal funding while refusing to place children in LGBTQ or non-Christian families—and now the Trump administration may help them. Jess and Imani break down who's behind these discriminatory efforts and what they mean for kids and parents around the country. 

Feb 14, 2019
The John Roberts Abortion Conundrum...Resolved?

Last night, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to block an anti-choice law in Louisiana from taking effect while it is being challenged in the courts. John Roberts was the deciding vote. Yes, you read that correctly. Is this a one-time thing, or does this signal that Roberts is moving to the middle on abortion? And what's next for abortion rights in Louisiana and around the country?

Join Jess and Imani for a discussion of all of this plus an interview with Center for Reproductive Rights senior counsel (and lead attorney on this case!) T.J. Tu.

Feb 08, 2019
The Supreme Court Head Fake on Abortion in Louisiana

The Supreme Court issued a stay against an anti-choice law in Louisiana—but only for a few days? Jess and Imani try to make sense of this puzzling move by the Court and what might happen next.

Feb 04, 2019
The John Roberts Abortion Conundrum

The Fifth Circuit has teed up a big test for Chief Justice John Roberts in a case out of Louisiana that involves hospital admitting privilege requirements for abortion providers. If Roberts respects precedent as much as he says he does, the law should be dead in the water. But is it?

Jan 30, 2019
Day Two of William Barr’s Confirmation Hearings

In the second and final day of confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee William Barr, witnesses testified both for and against his nomination. Some of it was fluff, but some of it was fire. Imani and Jess break down the key takeaways as a confirmation vote draws near.

Jan 16, 2019
Day One of William Barr's Confirmation Hearings

Jess and Imani sift through the testimony of Attorney General nominee William Barr, including his subtle but serious signals that he might be a danger to civil rights and immigration justice.

Jan 16, 2019
Bye-Bye, Birth Control Benefit?

The Trump administration plans to take a sledgehammer to the birth control benefit. Imani and Jess explain why its approach might not be entirely legal thanks to a little-known—but super-important—law called the Administrative Procedure Act.

Read more from Imani: I Can’t Believe It’s 2019 and We’re Still Arguing About the Birth Control Benefit

Jan 10, 2019
Recapping the Wild Ride of 2018

It's the end of the year, but it's just the beginning of a slew of court battles that could reshape our rights. Imani and Jess take stock of the legal highs and lows of 2018 with an eye to what's ahead in 2019.

Dec 18, 2018
Why Clarence Thomas Has a Case of the Sads

Several states have tried to find ways to cut Planned Parenthood out of state Medicaid programs. Naturally, lawsuits followed, and this week, the Supreme Court finally weighed in. Jess and Imani discuss what happened and what it means for health care across the country.

Dec 14, 2018
Why Aren't LGBTQ People Protected in the Workplace?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, national origin, color, sex, and religion. So why aren’t all LGBTQ people also definitively protected by this law, and whose fault is that? Jess and Imani explain.


Another Appeals Court Rules That Firing People for Being Gay Is Discrimination Under Title VII

Boom! Lawyered: Title VII and Title IX Edition

Nov 28, 2018
The Ohio Abortion Ban Saga Is Bananas

A new bill making its way through the Ohio legislature would effectively ban abortion in the state. It’s called a “heartbeat ban," and Jess and Imani explain how the bill's sponsors plan to use this law to make abortion illegal in every state.

Read more from Jess and Imani at Rewire.News!

Nov 21, 2018
Midterm Results and the Voting Rights Battles That Will Follow

The midterms elections are (mostly) over. Now what? Jess and Imani sift through the results and lay out the high-stakes legal and political skirmishes that are likely to follow, especially regarding the right to vote.

Nov 07, 2018
Will Voter Suppression Swing the 2018 Midterms?

Voter suppression in the 2018 midterms is real, and it's scary. In this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Imani and Jess explain the creative and alarming ways Republicans in three states are trying to prevent people from voting.

Nov 01, 2018
They're Coming for Birthright Citizenship

President Trump claims he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order. Jess and Imani explain why that's simply not true—but how this move might be part of a scarier and potentially effective long-term strategy.

Oct 30, 2018
Trailer: Unladylike

Here's a podcast we think you’ll love. It’s called Unladylike, and it’s all about gender rules and the folks who break them. They put together this trailer to tell you more about the show and how to listen. Check it out!

Oct 30, 2018
Meet the Official Who May Lead the Attack on Transgender Rights

Imani and Jess introduce you to Roger Severino. He runs the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He decorates his office with a Clarence Thomas bobblehead and a crucifix. And he’s the person likely to be driving the Trump Administration’s reported efforts to eliminate transgender

Oct 22, 2018
Kavanaugh Confirmed. Now What?

Well, that happened. What does it mean and where do we go from here? Jess and Imani break it down.

Also, be sure to check out Jessica's latest piece on the confirmation at Rewire.News. And donate to support our work at

Oct 06, 2018
Ford Shines, Kavanaugh Whines

Imani and Jess break down an unforgettable day of testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 

Sep 28, 2018
Meet the Awful Person Who Could Take Over the Mueller Investigation

Solicitor General Noel Francisco is well-positioned to take over supervision of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference should Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resign or be fired. Everyone should be concerned about this line of succession.

Sep 24, 2018
The Kavanaugh Allegations

Imani and Jess discuss the attempted rape allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and whether they will meaningfully impact his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Sep 18, 2018
Kavanaugh Day 4: Witness

On the final day of the Bretty Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, Imani and Jess discuss the witnesses who spoke and what will happen next in the process.

Sep 08, 2018
Kavanaugh Day 3: Exposed

Jess and Imani explain the intrigue and events of day three of the Kavanaugh hearings.

Sep 07, 2018
Kavanaugh Day 2: Stolen Emails?

Imani and Jess recap the twists, turns, and gotchas of day two (which is still ongoing!) of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sep 06, 2018
Kavanaugh Day 1: Changing the Rules

Imani and Jess recap and explain the most important takeaways—and most infuriating moments—from day one of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sep 04, 2018
What Are Republicans Hiding in Kavanaugh's Documents?

Jess and Imani make sense of the Senate battle over the release of hundreds of thousands of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Why have the Democrats threatened to sue, and what might we learn from the mountain of files if they are all released? Find out on Boom! Lawyered.

Aug 23, 2018
Emergency Pod on Brett Kavanaugh Nomination

Tonight, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. On yet another emergency episode of Boom! Lawyered, Rewire.News legal eagles Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo explore Kavanaugh’s history on the bench and what his confirmation could mean for the Court and our rights.

Jul 10, 2018
Who Can Stop Trump's Court Takeover?

In the final Boom! Lawyered episode of this Supreme Court term, Imani and Jess sift through the wreckage of the Court's decisions, explore how deep Trump's stacking of other federal courts goes, and discuss the end-game options for progressives who want to turn the tide. 

Jul 05, 2018
Emergency Pod #2—Justice Kennedy Is Retiring

Boom! Lawyered is back—again—to discuss the implications of Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement announcement. WHAT A WEEK.

Jun 27, 2018
Emergency Pod on Muslim Ban and CPC Decisions

Today, the Supreme Court gave a thumbs up to Donald Trump's Muslim ban and denied California's right to require factual disclosures by fake abortion clinics. Jess and Imani break down the key takeaways from a decision day that will live in infamy.

Jun 26, 2018
Pardon Me?

Can Donald Trump pardon himself? What happens next if he tries? Whose fault is it that the pardon became so powerful? And how did the pardon even come to exist, anyway? Imani and Jess answer all of these questions and more on the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered.

May 17, 2018
Sonia Sotomayor Is an Absolute Boss

When it comes to favorites on the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets a lot of love. And it’s deserved! But in the latest episode of Boom! Lawyered, Rewire.News legal experts Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy explain why someone else is deserving of the same (possibly even more?) love: Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Apr 26, 2018
The DOJ Is Bullying ACLU Attorneys and It's a Big Deal

Imani and Jess confront an extraordinary overreach by the Department of Justice. After failing to prevent immigrant minor Jane Doe from obtaining an abortion to which she's legally entitled, the Department is now asking the Supreme Court to punish the ACLU attorneys who represent her. Why? Because they dared to do their job. Listen to learn what this might mean for those attorneys – and for all of us.

Apr 12, 2018
BREAKING: Today's SCOTUS Arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra

Jess was inside the courtroom this morning as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra, which will decide whether a clinic can be required to reveal whether they are a licensed reproductive health-care provider or an unlicensed fake clinic. She talks with Imani about the key arguments, memorable moments, and potential outcomes from the morning's events.

Mar 20, 2018
Does the First Amendment Allow CPCs to Lie to Pregnant People?

When a pregnant person walks into a clinic, should that clinic be forced to reveal whether they are a licensed reproductive health care provider or an unlicensed fake clinic? Imani and Jess break down NIFLA v. Becerra, the Supreme Court case that's about to answer that question.

Mar 15, 2018
The Racist Ideology Neil Gorsuch Will Use to Break Unions

Imani and Jess discuss a Supreme Court case that could spell the end of public sector unions as we know them. Who is bringing this case and what do they hope to achieve? Which justice could be the one to swing the wrecking ball? And why do conservatives always talk about the "right to work" when trying to end unionization? Answers to those questions and more await you on Boom! Lawyered.

Mar 01, 2018
Pregnant and Going to the Doctor? You Might End Up in Jail

Jess and Imani explain the laws and policies that pipeline pregnant people into the criminal justice system. Then they speak with the reproductive justice advocates at the SIA Legal Team about their important work on behalf of people who self-induce abortions. 

Feb 15, 2018
Every Terrible Anti-Choice Bill Coming to a State Near You

Jess and Imani delve into the laundry list of state abortion restrictions already introduced in 2018. Spoiler alert: not only are anti-choice legislators drafting many different kinds of restrictions, they are also employing new legal strategies to try and undo Roe v. Wade one bad bill at a time.

Recommended Reading:

Feb 01, 2018
Hello! It's 2018 and Your Right to Vote Has Been Canceled

Jess and Imani explain which states are trying to prevent you from voting, why the Department of Justice went from helping to hurting, and how this all might play out in the courts in 2018.

Recommended Reading:

Jan 18, 2018
'The Handmaid’s Tale' Is Coming to Life

In this episode, Jess and Imani talk with Rewire's Jenn Stanley and Sofia Resnick about their new audio documentary, "Marching Toward Gilead: The Rise of American Theocracy."

This two-part documentary dives deep on Operation Save America (OSA), an organization committed to a theocratic vision of America, and reveals the alarming ways OSA’s fundamentalist far-right ideology has wormed its way into state and federal government. Jess and Imani also unpack the key laws involved, including the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and the concept of "justifiable homicide."

Dec 14, 2017
Bakers and Bare Breasts Will Determine the Limits of Free Speech

Jess and Imani discuss protected speech, expressive conduct, going topless as protest speech, and whether or not you can refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex couple and call it "free speech." They also explain the convoluted process by which cases make it to the U.S. Supreme Court and read the latest listener reviews.

More from #TeamLegal at

Nov 30, 2017
Eggs Are Not People and Your Sperm Is Not Sacred

Jess and Imani dive into the laws that define the concept of a person and how Congress and President Donald Trump are trying to sneak the anti-choice concept of "personhood" into everything from the Supreme Court to the latest tax legislation.

Learn more at Rewire:

Alabama Supreme Court Justices Make Case for Prosecuting Abortions
Roe v. Wade and Fetal Personhood: Juridical Persons Are Not Natural Persons, And Why it Matters

Nov 16, 2017
Beckett Lansbury and Ally Sheedy on How to Be a Better Ally to Trans People

Jess and Imani are joined by Ally Sheedy and her son Beckett Lansbury, a Title IX activist who is also transgender. Beckett explains why asking someone for their pronouns is important, why he decided to be public about his journey, and what allies to trans people can do to make a difference. Ally discusses her experience as the parent of a child coming out as transgender and what scares her the most about life under the Trump administration.

Nov 02, 2017
How the 14th Amendment Protects Your Freedom to Get Laid

Jess and Imani discuss how a few key clauses in the Constitution are being deployed in new lawsuits to fend off the latest attacks on sexual rights and the Affordable Care Act's birth control benefit. Plus, Satanists fight for abortion rights in Missouri and Imani reads the latest listener reviews.

Recommended Reading:

The Establishment Clause: A Simpler Answer to the Contraception Question?, by Imani Gandy for Rewire, Jan 2014

Trump to Blow Up Obamacare’s Birth Control Benefit, by Christine Grimaldi & Jessica Mason Pieklo for Rewire, May 2017

Oct 19, 2017
The Government Can Make Me Say WHAT?

Whether you're a doctor in a private room with a patient or a football player kneeling during the national anthem, legal precedents defining your speech rights are being debated and established all the way up to the Supreme Court. Boom! Lawyered will help you make sense of it all.

Reading Companion:

Boom! Lawyered: Levels of Judicial Scrutiny Edition, by Imani Gandy for Rewire, April 2016.

Oct 05, 2017
Four Ways Neil Gorsuch Could Ruin Your Life

In the inaugural episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica and Imani discuss the opening of the Supreme Court term and the big decisions on the horizon. With newly-added Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Court may be lurching back to the right on cases that address immigrant detention, President Trump's Muslim ban, Ohio voter roll purges, and whether or not evangelicals can refuse service to same sex couples. What does that mean for anyone who might be affected? Listen and find out.

Boom! Lawyered: Immigration Bond Edition

Sep 21, 2017
Coming 9/21: Boom! Lawyered

Coming on Thursday, 9/21: the premiere episode of Rewire Radio's new podcast, Boom! Lawyered. Every other week, Jess Pieklo and Imani Gandy deliver entertaining and helpful legal analysis for resistance-minded folks, including important justice issues coming up in the courts, how legal processes work, and what cases and their outcomes mean for all of us. Subscribe now!

Sep 12, 2017