Strict Scrutiny

By Leah Litman Melissa Murray Kate Shaw

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Category: Government & Organizations

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Subscribers: 306
Reviews: 3

 May 16, 2020

Steve Abrahamson
 Jul 7, 2019
excellent discussion. want too hear more about Native American case. looking forward to future programs. thank you...

 Jul 1, 2019


A podcast about the Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it. A project of The Appeal, hosted by Leah Litman, Melissa Murray, and Kate Shaw. Produced by Melody Rowell.

Episode Date
In Memoriam

Leah, Melissa, Kate are joined by Anne Joseph O’Connell,  Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and former clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sep 21, 2020
I Want More

Leah and Melissa interview Renee Knake Jefferson and Hannah Brenner Johnson about their book Shortlisted: Women In The Shadows Of The Supreme Court.

Sep 14, 2020
Courts of the Conqueror

Leah is joined by Liz Reese, a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, for a deep dive on the Court’s blockbuster Indian law case, McGirt v. Oklahoma, authored by the most interesting man in federal Indian law, Neil Gorsuch.

Sep 07, 2020
What Would Chief Justice Roberts Do?

Leah, Kate, and Melissa are joined by Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the ACLU and low-key star of The Fight.

Aug 31, 2020
Join Your Conflagrations

Leah, Kate, and Melissa are joined by Josie Duffy Rice, the President of The Appeal, to discuss the partnership with The Appeal. They also discuss breaking news,  some criminal justice issues on the Court’s docket last term and this upcoming term, before closing with some recent advances on #brorights.

Aug 26, 2020
RERELEASE: Bonus Pod- Melissa Murray on ACLU's "At Liberty"!

Melissa joins the ACLU's Emerson Sykes for an episode of their podcast, At Liberty. The Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark ACLU case decided in 1967. But the government‘s regulation of marriage and sex didn’t start with anti-miscegenation laws or end with Loving.

Aug 24, 2020
The Civility Alarm

Leah is joined by Amir Ali and Devi Rao from the Supreme Court & Appellate Program of the MacArthur Justice Center and Tiffany Wright of Orrick to discuss (the lack of) diversity in the appellate bar and its consequences. They also discuss two new organizations, The Appellate Project and Law Clerks for Diversity, that are trying to increase diversity in the appellate bar.

Aug 17, 2020
Magical Moment

Leah and Kate are joined by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of NAACP LDF. They further break down the “shadow docket” cases from last term, highlight an underappreciated theme of the last term, and identify some things to watch in the next few months.

Aug 10, 2020
Five-Dimensional Chess

Melissa talks with CNN's Joan Biskupic, author of The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts.

Aug 03, 2020
"Three Generations of Imbeciles"

Melissa talks with Adam Cohen about his book Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, And The Sterilization Of Carrie Buck.

Jul 27, 2020
How To Train Your Killer Whale

Leah Melissa, Jaime, and Kate recap the last term -- high points (flushgate), low points (you’ve heard some of these before), and everything in between.  They also discuss the psychology behind how to train our country’s new median #SCOTUS killer whale, John Roberts. Oh, and there are LOTS of announcements and breaking news on this episode too.

Jul 20, 2020
Diploma Privilege

Leah is joined by Dr. Pilar Escontrias, one of the founders of United for Diploma Privilege. United for Diploma Privilege is seeking to address the calamity of bar examinations (and admissions) in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  Listen, learn, and take action!

Jul 13, 2020
The Bigotry of Low Expectations

Leah, Melissa, and Kate recap the presidential immunity cases and the ministerial exception case. They also do a deep dive into the Chief meting out punishments for hiccups during the May sitting.

Jul 13, 2020
Well Played, Sirs

*another airhorn* Leah and Melissa break down the Court's major contraception case. Welcome to Gilead!

Jul 08, 2020

Leah  and Kate discuss four big Supreme Court cases that came down last week (June Medical with special guest Julie Rikelman, Seila Law, Espinoza, and Alliance for an Open Society). Somehow, in three of those cases, Chief Justice Roberts defied his liberal instincts and voted to join 5-4 opinions with his fellow conservatives. They also discuss some recent news and rumors involving the Court and give Justice Alito a new nickname.

Jul 06, 2020
Save Your Yarn

*airhorn* The Supreme Court released the opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo-- this term's big abortion case. Leah, Melissa, and Kate discuss.

Jun 30, 2020
Thanks For The Footnote

Leah, Melissa, and Kate are joined by Anil Kalhan to break down the Supreme Court’s important immigration habeas case, Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, as well as some DOJ developments.


Check out our new anniversary merch on our website!

Jun 29, 2020

A giveaway to mark our one year podiversary!

Jun 24, 2020
Second Glow HH!

A giveaway for law students and recent graduates to come to our second virtual happy hour for glow supporters!

Jun 23, 2020
2020 Bingo Card

Leah and Melissa are joined by special guest Chase Strangio for a big recap episode of a big week. They cover some developments on the orders list and two major decisions (the Title VII decision and the DACA decision).

Jun 22, 2020
Josh Hawley's Tears
Jun 19, 2020
Carpool Dad

Melissa and Leah are joined by Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, to discuss why the Supreme Court doesn't get the media coverage it deserves.

Jun 18, 2020
Turd In The Punch Bowl

Leah, Melissa, and Kate offer a quick recap and analysis of the 6-3 opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County that came out this morning, ruling that LGBTQ are afforded workplace protections under Title VII. 

Jun 15, 2020
Blood-Stained Bunny Costume

Because constitutional law makes everything more fun, Leah and Melissa decided to spot constitutional law issues in Netflix’s quarantine hit, Joe Exotic.  They are joined by Delci Winders, Assistant Clinical Professor & Director of Animal Rights Clinic, Lewis & Clark Law School, who shares some of the important animal rights and animal welfare issues the show left out. This one goes out to you, Carole Baskin!

Jun 15, 2020
Made Up Immunities

Kate and Jaime discuss contributors to injustice--doctrines that encourage (or at least immunize) racial profiling and police misconduct-- with Fred Smith Jr, associate professor at Emory University School of Law.  They also discuss some recent court news and recap a few opinions.

Jun 08, 2020
June First
We chose not to release our regularly scheduled episode today in light of the nationwide protests. #BlackLivesMatter
Jun 01, 2020
What's The Mouse Going To Do?

Kate and Leah recap the other big argument from the May sitting they didn’t get a chance to last time -- the faithless (or is it Hamiltonian? Or defecting? Or mavericky?) electors cases. They also discuss some findings about the Court’s telephonic arguments and the BIG (aka not so big) opinions the Court has recently released.

May 25, 2020
Earth to Nancy

Leah and Kate break down the major arguments in the presidential immunity and subpoena cases as well as the major (?) social media and supporter updates for the podcast!  They also discuss McGirt v. Oklahoma and the ministerial exemption cases. And enforcing the Voting Rights Act too (of course).

May 18, 2020

In this jam-packed episode, Jaime and Melissa recap the Supreme Court’s first-ever telephonic arguments, delve into how three men advocated for or against contraceptive coverage for women, preview next week’s high-profile arguments, and recap some recent opinions.  Whoa, it’s exhausting even just typing that.

May 11, 2020
Happy Hour!

We'll be hosting a happy hour to thank our glow subscribers!

May 05, 2020
Stay Frustrated

Kate and Melissa are joined by special guest Emily Bazelon to talk about her New York Times Magazine article, “How Will Trump’s Supreme Court Remake America?” Plus, we've got opinions that offer some hints to what future cases might me on the justices' minds.

May 04, 2020
Pit of Piranhas

In this episode, Melissa talks shop with Jess Bravin, who covers the Court for the ​Wall Street Journal.

Apr 30, 2020
Workplace Misconduct And The Federal Courts

Leah and Jaime are joined by Deeva Shah (from Law Clerks for Workplace Accountability) and Sejal Singh and Emma Janger (from People’s Parity Project) for a discussion about workplace misconduct and the federal courts.

Apr 27, 2020
Podapalooza Live Event
We'll be hosting a live Q&A event as part of podapalooza this Sunday (April 26) at 1 PM ET!
Apr 24, 2020
Podapalooza Teaser

This is just a reminder to sign up for podapalooza -- happening this weekend! You can sign up at

Apr 22, 2020
Stop Trying To Make Democracy Happen

On this special episode, prepared for PODAPALOOZA, Leah, Melissa, Jaime, and Kate discuss some COVID-related Court issues. That includes the Court’s upcoming telephonic arguments; its order in the Wisconsin election case; and some other COVID-related cases that might make their way to the Court soon.

Apr 20, 2020
BONUS: Supreme Inequality with Adam Cohen

Back in February, when crowds were still a thing, Melissa interviewed Adam Cohen about his new book, Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America.

Adam examines the conservative tilt of the Supreme Court since the Nixon administration and forward through the last 50 years. The Supreme Court after Justice Earl Warren no longer protected the rights of the poor, the disadvantaged, equally and instead moved forward to deprioritize such issues as school desegregation, voting rights and the protection of workers and instead, prioritize decisions that favored wealthy and corporate interests.

Thanks to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law for letting us share this riveting conversation with Strict Scrutiny listeners.

Apr 13, 2020
Build A Bridge

A special opinions episode! The Supreme Court has issued a lot of opinions recently, and we wanted to get you caught up on some of them.

Apr 06, 2020
Throwing Elbows

Leah and Jaime recap other arguments from the February sitting that was a lifetime ago!  They cover Sineneng-Smith v. United States, DHS v. Thuraissigiam, and of course a case argued by that guy Paul -- Seila Law v. CFPB.

Mar 30, 2020
We See You, Steve

Just what you need for quarantine-- a whole episode recapping the arguments in June Medical Services v. Russo. Plus, our suggestions for making the justices WFH, and rumors on who President Joe Biden's SCOTUS picks might be.

Mar 23, 2020
The Ghost of Phyllis Schlafly

Kate and Melissa join forces with Lauren Moxley, creator of The Ginsburg Tapes, for an exploration of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Mar 02, 2020
No Jonathans Or Pauls

Boston University School of Law put together an amazing live show! Leah, Melissa, and Jaime are joined by two fabulous BU law professors, Sarah Sherman-Stokes and Danielle Citron (MacArthur genius and Strict Scrutiny ninja). The group proclaims victory for gender parity and previews two cases (US v. Sineneng-Smith and Seila v. CFPB) before discussing Danielle's work on deep fakes and taking a question from the wonderful audience. This event was recorded live at WBUR CitySpace in Boston. Thanks to WBUR and BU for the very warm welcome!

Feb 24, 2020
BONUS: Jaime Santos on Our Curious Amalgam

Jaime Santos joins John Roberti and Christima Ma from Our Curious Amalgam to talk antitrust and the Supreme Court!

Feb 17, 2020
Cassandra Moment

While Kate and Jaime recover from the live show, Leah and Melissa bring some exciting impeachment updates … including the Chief Justice caught on camera in Strict Scrutiny SWAG (?!?). They also recap two of the January arguments, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue and Shular v. United States, and offer some “I told you so” s about the Court’s recent cert grants.

Jan 27, 2020
Standing Cheese

In the very first live show, Strict Scrutiny goes blue at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor!  The full crew recaps two arguments from the January sitting (Kelly v. United States  and Thole v. US Bank) and notes some uncomfortable interactions inside and outside of One First Street. They also discuss upcoming student conventions for the American Constitution Society and People’s Parity Project after Leah and Melissa explain to Kate and Jaime what GTL means. Thanks to our hosts, the ACS student chapter at the University of Michigan!

Jan 20, 2020
Criminally Petty

Kate and Melissa preview the January sitting, including Bridge-gate, some fashion-y trademark cases, and whether they count as “older workers” for purposes of the ADEA. Plus, RBG and Sotomayor sightings in the wild.

Jan 13, 2020
BONUS: Kate Shaw on Why is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

It's a mash-up! Kate Shaw joins Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes to talk all things impeachment.

Dec 23, 2019
Not Afraid of Garland

Melissa and Jaime deck the halls with argument recaps, cert grants, and opinions-- plus some speculation about upcoming wardrobe choices for Chief Justice Roberts.

Dec 16, 2019
Here Come the Generals

Jaime, Kate, and Melissa break down the DACA argument and speak with Luis Cortes, who worked on the DACA case and is a DACA recipient himself.  They also talk about their favorite Thanksgiving sides and desserts.

Dec 11, 2019
Moot and Rally

Leah and Kate discuss a case that isn’t even a real case involving a real law, as well as the very real and very important Affordable Care Act case on the Court’s December calendar. They also recap some Federalist Society Gala happenings and developments in the cases involving subpoenas for the President’s financial records.

Dec 02, 2019
Reproductive Rights & Justice Stories (Melissa Murray, Kate Shaw, Reva Siegel & Rebecca Traister live at the Brennan Center)
In this special bonus episode, Melissa and Kate are joined by co-editor Reva Siegel to discuss their book "Reproductive Rights & Justice Stories," in a conversation moderated by Rebecca Traister and hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
Nov 27, 2019
This is Kansas

Leah and Jaime recap a lot of the big November cases, including Kansas v. Glover, County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Hernandez v. Mesa, and IBM v. Jander. They deduce that Justice Breyer was on fleek and that Justice Ginsburg’s clerks need to take a lesson about herd immunity. 

Nov 18, 2019
BONUS: Melissa Murray on ACLU's "At Liberty"

The Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark ACLU case decided in 1967. But the government‘s regulation of marriage and sex didn’t start with anti-miscegenation laws or end with Loving. Melissa Murray — an expert in family law, constitutional law, and reproductive rights and justice at the New York University School of Law — discusses why the institution looms so large in America's past and present. This episode was recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, as part of “‘Til Victory is Won,” an evening commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to America’s shores.

Nov 11, 2019
Where My Girls At?

On this episode, Kate and Melissa talk breaking SCOTUS news; preview three cases from the upcoming November sitting -- DACA, Hernandez v. Mesa, and Comcast; and go deep on amicus invitations and (lack of) diversity in the Supreme Court bar.

Nov 04, 2019
Repeat Players

Leah and Jaime recap some of the Supreme Court’s October cases, including Ramos v. Louisiana, Mathena v. Malvo, and Aurelius Investment v. Puerto Rico. Then they pretend the Supreme Court had no additional cert grants before leaving listeners with a deep thought … slash question.

Oct 28, 2019
Rick Perry and the German Policeman

On this special Title VII episode, Leah, Jaime, and Kate are joined by a special guest – Jay Austin, Senior Associate Dean of Enrollment and Financial Aid at Rutgers Law School. Together they recap the Title VII arguments (which means a lot of bathroom talk).

Oct 21, 2019
Calm before the storm
On this episode, Melissa and Kate break down the Harvard affirmative action case just decided by a Massachusetts district court; go deep on some of our favorite classic and recent books on the Supreme Court; preview the first two weeks of the Supreme Court’s 2019 Term; and dish about clerking. (This last is a conversation to be continued -- we got tons of questions we didn't have time to discuss, so stay tuned for more on clerkships down the road!)
Oct 07, 2019
Eat Your Spinach

After a fun game of “how I spent my summer--Supreme Court edition,” Leah, Melissa, Jaime, and Kate preview some of the cases they are watching for the upcoming term. They also discuss other issues that might make their way to the Court soon, including significant executive power disputes that might allow the Chief Justice to make some fashion waves.

Sep 30, 2019
Pineapple & Rage

In our final summer episode, it’s a reproductive rights and justice block party (or wake, depending on your perspective). Leah, Melissa, and Kate discuss the reproductive rights and justice cases that made their way to the Supreme Court, the cases that almost made their way to the Court, and the cases that might make their way to the Court soon. They also point out how many of the Court’s cases have implications for reproductive justice before walking through some recent reproductive justice litigation involving the Supreme Court bar.

Sep 04, 2019
Leg Day
Jul 22, 2019
Sipping My Tea
In the inaugural episode of Strict Scrutiny, Leah, Melissa, Jaime, and Kate recap two of this term's biggest opinions--partisan gerrymandering and the census. They also walk through a theme of this term (stare decisis) before talking about the podcast's role in Supreme Court legal culture. It's Strict Scrutiny's test pancake, so enjoy the show!
Jul 01, 2019
Is This Thing On?
Announcing a new podcast .... Strict Scrutiny! Strict Scrutiny covers the Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.
Jun 19, 2019