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Oral Argument

A podcast about law, law school, legal theory, and other nerdy things that interest us.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Episode 116: Co-Authorial Privilege

We’ve been asking for a true originalist to take us to the woodshed for all our prior doubts and dismissiveness of originalism as a method of interpretation. Enter Will Baude. This show’s links: William Baude’s faculty profile and writing About Ben Linus First Mondays Legal Theory 101 (and corresponding blog post) William Baude and Stephen Sachs, Originalism’s Bite William Baude and Stephen Sachs, The Law of Interpretation William Baude, Is Originalism Our Law? Oral Argument 113: The Entrails of Fowl (guest Charles Barzun) Lawrence Solum, Semantic Originalism Stephen Sachs, Originalism as a Theory of Legal Change Richard Re, Promising the Constitution Two debates about interpretation between Justices Breyer and Scalia: Annenberg Classroom and a joint Federalist Society and ACS event Richard Posner, Supreme Court Breakfast Table Entry 27: Broad Interpretations Radiolab Presents: More Perfect, The Political Thicket Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention; see also a conversation with Bilder at the National Constitution Center Special Guest: William Baude.

1hr 18mins

4 Nov 2016

Rank #1

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Episode 55: Cronut Lines

Why do people stand in line? Or is it “on line”? Of course it isn’t. But the question remains. We talk with Dave Fagundes, scholar of, among many other things, roller derby, who has written the cutting edge article on why we form lines even without laws requiring them. Discussion ranges from cronuts to rock bands to carpool lanes to phone apps. This show’s links: Dave Fagundes’s faculty profile and writing The decision in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center and Steve Vladeck’s reaction, Steve’s having discussed this case in episode 38 David Fagundes, Waiting in Line: Norms, Markets, and the Law Episodes 31 and 32, in which there are links and discussion concerning the “knee defender” controversy and airline seat reclining David Fagundes, Talk Derby to Me: Intellectual Property Norms Governing Roller Derby Pseudonyms A stachexchange thread about standing “in line” vs. “on line” The word “spendy” dates from 1911 at the latest How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk, a quiz to see your personal dialect map Hella Blitzgeral, roller derbyist Lisa Bernstein, Opting out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry Robert Ellickson, Of Coase and Cattle: Dispute Resolution Among Neighbors in Shasta County (and more in his book, Order Without Law) Philosophy Bites: Lisa Bortolotti on Irrationality Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, Fairness versus Welfare: Notes on the Pareto Principle, Preferences, and Distributive Justice Leon Mann, Queue Culture: The Waiting Line as a Social System About cronuts Carol Rose, Possession as the Origin of Property Thomas Merrill and Henry Smith, Optimal Standardization in the Law of Property: The Numerus Clausus Principle An example of a “queuing app” About the “tit for tat” strategy and its connection to human nature in Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation An excerpt on social norms from Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational The excerpt on videphones from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest; see also Infinite Summer Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (his Tanner Lecture) Lior Strahilevitz, How Changes in Property Regimes Influence Social Norms: Commodifying California's Carpool Lanes David Fagundes, The Pink’s Paradox: Excessively Long Food Lines as Overly Strong Signals of Quality, referring to Pink’s Hot Dogs; see also Sally’s Apizza The set of policies for “Krzyzewskiville,” the grassy lawn at Duke where students line up for days to get basketball tickets Catherine Eade, Diplomatic (Snow) Storm Erupts After American Ambassador to Switzerland Criticises Its Ski Lift Queues About power distance index John Wiseman, Aspects of Social Organisation in a Nigerian Petrol Queue Lior Strahilevitz, Charismatic Code, Social Norms, and the Emergence of Cooperation on the File-Swapping Networks (discussing reciprocity cascades) Dan Kahan, The Logic of Reciprocity: Trust, Collective Action, and Law Felix Oberholzer-Gee, A Market for Time: Fairness and Efficiency in Waiting Lines Stanley Milgram, Response to Intrusion into Waiting Lines Special Guest: Dave Fagundes.

1hr 40mins

3 Apr 2015

Rank #2

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Episode 210: Exponential

Just Joe and Christian on the pandemic, new articles, and spring break. Achieving A Fair and Effective COVID-19 Response: An Open Letter to Vice-President Mike Pence, and Other Federal, State, and Local Leaders from Public Health and Legal Experts in the United States The President in discussion with pharma execs on a vaccine


3 Mar 2020

Rank #3

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Episode 28: A Wonderful Catastrophe

Now we turn to Joe’s favorite case(s). And monkey selfies. First, some great listener feedback, and Joe’s argument that feedback should be at the end of the show. Then we dive into Erie, the first of two cases decided on April 25, 1938 that together are his favorite case(s). A man injured by an errant door on a passing train brings the case that fundamentally transforms the federal judiciary. Justice Brandeis transcends transcendental nonsense to recognize that courts make common law rather than discover it and thereby gives up power in a move Joe likens to George Washington declining to seek a third term. We close with a discussion of why no one “owns” the now-famous and delightful monkey selfie. This show’s links: Overcast, the newest podcast app on the block Episode 8: Party All over the World Christian Turner, Leveling Up Ed Cray, Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren (and here’s a review) Episode 27: My Favorite Case About the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins United States v. Carolene Products Swift v. Tyson Black and White Taxicab and Transfer Co. v. Brown and Yellow Taxicab and Transfer Co. (Holmes: “The fallacy and illusion that I think exist consist in supposing that there is this outside thing to be found. Law is a word used with different meanings, but law in the sense in which courts speak of it today does not exist without some definite authority behind it.”) The monkey selfie: (go here to see the image if it doesn’t appear in your podcast client) Mike Masonic, How That Monkey Selfie Reveals The Dangerous Belief That Every Bit Of Culture Must Be 'Owned' Annemarie Bridy, Coding Creativity: Copyright and the Artificially Intelligent Author

1hr 31mins

8 Aug 2014

Rank #4

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Episode 78: Listener Fuller

Feedback on “the Cyberloquium,” theme music, affirmative action, oral arguments, podcast apps, Scalia’s opinion announcement in Glossip, the parliamentary system and complexity, postal banking, killer robots, villains and angels in history, and whether philosophy matters much in law. This show’s links: Oral Argument 0: Who Is Your Hero? Amicus podcast: 2015 Term Preview SCOTUSblog’s page for Fisher v. UT Austin Oral Argument 27: My Favorite Case The Oyez page for Glossip v. Gross, containing Breyer’s announcement and Scalia’s response (linked at Part 4) Overcast Oral Argument 56: Cracking and Packing (guest Lori Ringhand) Mehrsa Baradaran, How the Other Half Banks; Nancy Folbre’s review for the NY Times; Oral Argument 9: Torches and Pitchforks Oral Argument 75: Air Gap (guest Mary Ellen O’Connell) Oral Argument 76: Brutality (guest Al Brophy) Oral Argument 77: Jackasses Are People Too (guest Adam Kolber)

1hr 9mins

12 Oct 2015

Rank #5

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Episode 34: There’s Not Really a Best Font

We discuss the role of design in the practice of law with renowned typographer-lawyer Matthew Butterick. The conversation ranges among very practical tips for making better documents, why so many legal documents are poorly designed, why lawyers should care about design, and what it even means to design a document. Matthew explains why IRS forms are some of the most well-designed legal documents around. Also, Joe manages to connect (positively) enjoying physical books with smelling gasoline. This show’s links: About Matthew Butterick, also here and @mbutterick on Twitter Nicholas Georgakopoulos, Knee Defender, Barro’s Error, and Surprise Norms Christopher Buccafusco and Chris Sprigman, Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? Keith O’Brien, America’s Chimp Problem The pronunciation of “chimpanzee” Cecilia Kang, Podcasts Are Back - And Making Money (sadly, not ours, but here’s Christian’s post on Podcasts and some of the reasons we started this show) Overcast, our preferred podcast app Episode 11: Big Red Diesel, in which we discussed typography, text editing, and the worst breaches of email etiquette Butterick’s Practical Typography (and how to pay for it if you choose!) From the book: Typography in Ten Minutes and Summary of Key Rules Matthew Butterick, Typography for Lawyers (and how to purchase physical and Kindle editions) Ben Carter, Typography for Lawyers: One Space, Double Spacing, and Other Good Ideas An example of a Supreme Court opinion, notable for its design Robin Williams, The Mac is Not a Typewriter Matthew Butterick, The Bomb in the Garden, text and images from a talk Matthew gave at TYPO San Francisco in 2013 Rob Walker, The Guts of a New Machine, reporting on the iPod’s first two years and including the quote from Steve Jobs that “design is how it works” (Note too the uncertainty in 2003 whether the iPod would go on to sell like the breakthrough Sony Walkman, which sold 186 million in twenty years. As of this article, the iPod had sold 1.4 million. It went on to sell 350 million in eleven years.) Dan Barry, A Writing Coach Becomes a Listener, a profile of William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well Mike Monteiro, Design Is a Job Lawrence Solum, Legal Theory Lexicon: Fit and Justification Patrick Kingsley, Higgs Boson and Comic Sans: The Perfect Fusion Matthew Butterick, Pollen, “a publishing system that helps authors create beautiful and functional web-based books” and that “includes tools for writing, designing, programming, testing, and publishing” Matthew’s Equity and Concourse typefaces Matthew Butterick, The Economics of a Web-Based Book: Year One Special Guest: Matthew Butterick.

1hr 25mins

27 Sep 2014

Rank #6

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Episode 30: A Filled Milk Caste

Joe’s favorites case(s) part deux, Carolene Products, the filled milk case to end all filled milk cases. We talk about a case most famous for its fourth footnote. That’s right. This episode, alongside volumes upon volumes of legal scholarship, is almost entirely concerned with a footnote. But this one almost casually suggests a principle to divide the power of the federal government between courts and the political branches. Bonus content: an idea about returning to school later in life and follow-up on the monkey selfie. This show’s links: Episode 28: A Wonderful Catastrophe, including discussion of the first of Joe’s favorite cases and our discussion of the case of the monkey selfie Draft Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, including at page 54 of the linked manual: “The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants. ... Examples: A photograph taken by a monkey.” United States v. Carolene Products Co. Hebe Co. v. Shaw About filled milk Josh Blackman, 60 New Recipes for Carolene Products Co.’s Milnut from 1939 Lochner v. New York Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs Wickard v. Filburn Letter from Justice Robert H. Jackson to Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone on Wickard v. Filburn Jackson’s thoughts on the Wickard problem were put down most candidly in a memo to his law clerk (Robert Jackson, Memorandum for Mr. Costelloe, Re: Wickard Case 15 (July 10, 1942) (on file with the Library of Congress, Jackson MSS, Box 125). Perhaps you’ll have better luck finding this online than we did. It is described in many of the many, many articles about the famous footnote. David Strauss, Does the Constitution Always Mean What It Says?, video of a terrific lecture The text of foonote four Louis Lusky, Footnote Redux: A Carolene Products Reminiscence (note: Joe misspoke. Lusky was a Columbia, not Yale, prof.) Episode 27: My Favorite Case on Plessy v. Ferguson Lincoln Caplan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Footnote Four, which concerns this appearance by Justice Ginsburg at which she discusses Footnote Four and affirmative action (just after minute 36) David Strauss, Is Carolene Products Obsolete?

1hr 35mins

23 Aug 2014

Rank #7

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Episode 31: Knee Defender

Our labor day episode, in which we discuss: Judge Posner’s castigation of state attorneys in gay marriage cases, professionalism (shiver) and politeness, the knee defender and recliners, airplane boarding and luggage retrieval, the exciting new adventures of the Town of Greece, satanists, and contempt of cop. This show’s links: Seventh Circuit arguments in Baskin v. Bogan and Wolf v. Walker Christian Turner, 404: Argument Not Found Paul Ford, How to Be Polite About the duty to rescue Paul Bloom, Against Empathy in the Boston Review, with respondents Richard Greenstein, Against Professionalism The Knee Defender AP, Plane Diverted as Passengers Fight over Seat Reclining CBC News, Fired RIM Execs “Chewed Through Restraints” on Flight Josh Barro, Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me About the so-called Coase Theorem Stanley Coren, Is It Safe to Ship Dogs or Cats by Air? About boarding patterns on airplanes Dahlia Lithwick, Checking In on the Town of Greece Episode 19: The Prayer Abides (guest Nathan Chapman), discussing the Town of Greece case About the Streisand effect Jack Jenkins, How Satanists Are Testing The Limits Of Religious Freedom In Oklahoma Swartz v. Insogna About contempt of cop

1hr 21mins

29 Aug 2014

Rank #8

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Episode 40: The Split Has Occurred

This is the week the circuits split. We discuss Judge Sutton’s opinion for a panel of the Sixth Circuit upholding bans on gay marriage in several states. Although Joe and Christian mainly agree about this case, Joe finds plenty of other things Christian says and does to be irritating, especially during our first eighteen minutes when we discuss feedback. This show’s links: Michael Dorf, Why Danforth v. Minnesota Does Not Undermine My View About State Court Decisions to Follow Lower Federal Court Precedent Our episode with Peabody award winner, Tom Goldstein About typefaces (and the difference between typefaces and fonts) About King v. Burwell, the case the Supreme Court has taken up challenging subsidies on federally run exchanges; see also Christian’s take and Abbe Gluck’s The Unrecorded Podcast Michelle Meyer, Will the Real Evidence-Based Ebola Policy Please Stand Up? Seven Takeaways from Maine DHHS v. Hickox (which Christian wrongly attributed to Hank Greely, who has also written on Ebola, but is in fact from fantastic friend of the show Michelle Meyer - sorry Michelle), further to our last episode on the domestic side of the Ebola DeBoer v. Hodges, the Sixth Circuit decision by Judge Sutton upholding various state marriage bans Oral Argument 36: Firehose of Inequality (guest Anthony Kreis) Baskin v. Bogan, Judge Posner’s decision striking down state marriage bans and Christian’s post about the Seventh Circuit’s oral arguments in that case About Baker v. Nelson Hicks v. Miranda Loving v. Virginia Plessy v. Ferguson Romer v. Evans Balkinization Symposium on Unconstitutional Animus (We’d apologize for the error of attributing this to SCOTUSblog, but we don’t have time to apologize for all of our errors.) William Eskridge, Jr. A History fo Same Sex Marriage

1hr 44mins

8 Nov 2014

Rank #9

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Episode 35: Multitudes

We discuss the common law and originalism with law, literature, and history scholar Bernadette Meyler. Some of today’s most intense constitutional controversies revolve around the proper sources of interpretive tools. Some forms of originalism, believing judging is legitimate only if it foregoes political choice and instead adopts the choices made by democratically accountable institutions, attempt to locate the sole meanings that constitutional text, whether “natural born citizen,” “habeas corpus,” or “ex post facto,” had in the common law at the time of its adoption. Bernie’s research reveals that the common law itself, rather than speaking with one voice, exhibited some of the same diversity of interpretation and opinion that we see in debates about meaning today. Nonetheless, she believes that interpretation that gives weight to those original debates, rather than non-existent singular meanings, is better justified than unmoored living constitutionalism. She calls this method “common law originalism.” This show’s links: About Bernadette Meyler and her writing Follow-up from Matthew Butterick, in which he reminds us that the podcast app we mentioned last week, Overcast, uses his typeface, Concourse Ed Mazza, Nearly 1,000 Chickens Killed (a story of animal victimization related to our conversation with Matthew Liebman) Background on the common law About Sir Edward Coke and his Law Reports, which can be browsed here Calvin’s Case as reported by Coke About Dr. Bonham’s Case Background on originalism; see also here Antonin Scalia, Common-Law Courts in a Civil-Law System: The Role of United States Federal Courts in Interpreting the Constitution and Laws (upon which he expands in A Matter of Interpretation Lawrence Solum, Semantic Originalism (an originalist theory that includes “the idea of the division of linguistic labor”) Bernadette Meyler, Accepting Contested Meanings Bernadette Meyler, Defoe and the Written Constitution (compare with Andrew Coan, The Irrelevance of Writtenness in Constitutional Interpretation) Walt Whitman, Song of Myself Oliver Wendell Holmes: “A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.” Towne v. Eisner (1918) Sanford Levinson, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It Special Guest: Bernadette Meyler.

1hr 21mins

3 Oct 2014

Rank #10

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Episode 74: Minimum Curiosity

Should judges surf the web to scrutinize the truth of facts in front of them? With Amanda Frost, we discuss a recent case in which Judge Posner did just that. Some basic internet research cast serious doubt on a prison doctor’s medical opinion suggesting a prisoner did not need Zantac before meals to control a serious esophageal condition. While the websites Posner visited and cited did not control the outcome, they supported his conclusion that the evidence in the district court was insufficient to throw out the prisoner’s case. This show’s links: Amanda Frost’s faculty profile and writing Rowe v. Gibson Coleen Barger, On the Internet Nobody Knows You’re a Judge Alli Orr Larsen, The Trouble with Amicus Facts; see also Alli Orr Larsen, Factual Precedents, which Christian must have had rolling around in his head somewhere Alli Orr Larsen on the Colbert Report discussing amicus briefs and factfinding Amanda Frost, The Limits of Advocacy Brianne Gorod, The Adversarial Myth: Appellate Court Extra-Record Factfinding Zantac’s Comparison of OTC Heartburn Treatment Options Mitchell v. JCG Industries (dissent and concurrence in the denial of a rehearing and Posner’s defense of the court’s staff’s trying on protective gear to gauge the plausibility of the claim that it took more than fifteen minutes) Special Guest: Amanda Frost.

1hr 17mins

11 Sep 2015

Rank #11

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Episode 73: Looking for the Splines

We open the burgeoning mailbag. And oh what a bounty! Side A: 1. Georgia’s assertion of copyright over its annotated statutes. 2. Law school application, rankings, and preparation. 3. The utility for law of having a Ph.D. 4. Substantive due process and Lochner. 5. Would law school be better without the study of the Supreme Court or constitutional law? Side B: 6. Voting rights and proportional representation. 7. Whether we’ve had a fair discussion of the death penalty. 8. What makes legal writing good or bad? 9. Other podcasts. 10. Race and the law. 11. The utilitarian case for manual override of driverless cars. 12. Facebook’s ability to create “bad” desires and preferences. Drugs and entertainment. 13. The rogue Kentucky clerk and the difference between civil disobedience and sabotage or revolution. This show’s links: Oral Argument on Twitter and on Facebook About Carl Malamud Georgia Accuses Public Records Activist of Information “Terrorism” Episode 68: Listen to My Full Point and Episode 12: Heart of Darkness Episode 62: Viewer Mail Episode 30: A Filled Milk Caste Episode 66: You’re Never Going to Get It All Done (guest Kareem Creighton) and Kareem Creighton’s tweet to us about this question Chris Elmendorf, Making Sense of Section 2: Of Biased Votes, Unconstitutional Elections, and Common Law Statutes Episode 56: Cracking and Packing (guest Lori Ringhand) Episode 67: Monstrous Acts (guest Josh Lee) Callins v. Collins (Scalia’s concurrence citing the brutality of a murder in a case in which the defendant was later proved innocent) Danielle Allen, Our Declaration; Robert Cover, Violence and the Word ; Jedediah Purdy, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene Undisclosed: The State v. Adnan Syed, a podcast recommended to us Episode 69: Contaminated Evidence (guest Brandon Garrett); see also Episode 45: Sacrifice, Episode 64: Protect and Serve (guest Seth Stoughton) The Our National Conversation about Conversations about Race podcast Episode 70: No Drones in the Park (guest Frank Pasquale) Episode 72: The Guinea Pig Problem (guest Michelle Meyer) A youtube of David Foster Wallace talking about drugs and entertainment in Infinite Jest (2m23s) Anthony Kreis’s tweet about civil disobedience

1hr 29mins

4 Sep 2015

Rank #12

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Episode 196: It at Least Exists

Is the common law efficient? Richard Posner, among many others, has argued that it is, perhaps even without judges ever themselves focusing on that goal. Daniel Sokol joins us to discuss how understanding law as a platform, like modular and open-source software platforms, helps to see how some areas of the law might indeed become more efficient over time while others might not. Daniel Sokol's faculty profile and writing Daniel Sokol, Rethinking the Efficiency of the Common Law Special Guest: Daniel Sokol.

1hr 16mins

21 Apr 2019

Rank #13

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Episode 104: Drunk in a Dorm Room

Christian, Joe, and frequent co-host Sonja West dig into the mail and tweet bags and discuss nonsense, sense, and antisense. Topics include: Judge John Hodgman’s weighing in on speed trap law, podcast listening speeds, the Slate Supreme Court Breakfast Table, the insurable liability approach to the gun crisis, Joe sings (yes) a line from “The Externality Song” and (relatedly, obv) Hamilton vs. Upstream Color, price matching and the morality quiz, footnoting and in-text citation and madness, an argument over Guantanamo and rights, more on the culturally polarized gun debate and on rights generally, Posner’s skepticism of academia, and how things change and get better. This show’s links: Sonja West’s faculty profile and writing Oral Argument 1: Send Joe to Prison (guest Sonja West) Judge John Hodgman on flashing lights to warn of speed traps Slate: The Supreme Court Breakfast Table Oral Argument 101: Tug of War Oral Argument 100: A Few Minutes in the Rear-View Mirror Oral Argument 96: Students as Means Kedar Bhatia, Footnotes in Supreme Court Opinions David Foster Wallace, Tense Present (an earlier version of Authority and American Usage in Consider the Lobster and Other Essays) The brief Christian helped with in Rasul v. Bush, making the Mathews v. Eldridge argument the Court wound up adopting in the simultaneously decided Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (see pp. 17-21) Sonja West, The Second Amendment Is Not Absolute The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that confers immunity on gun manufacturers for most gun deaths; see also the wiki article on the act Oral Argument 102: Precautionary Federalism (guest Sarah Light) Dissent from denial of cert. in Stormans v. Wiesman Mark Graber, Alito (Religion) v. Alito (Abortion) Richard Posner, Entry 9: The Academy Is out of Its Depth Akhil Amar, Entry 10: Who Judges the Judges Richard Posner, Entry 11: The Immigration Decision Won’t Do Much Dawn Johnsen, Entry 12: How can a judge dismiss the importance of the Constitution? Richard Posner, Entry 27: Broad Interpretations Special Guest: Sonja West.

1hr 32mins

8 Jul 2016

Rank #14

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Episode 203: Fifty-Four

On immaturity, defensiveness, art, the intellect, models, and the self. And mailbag on scholarship and practice, Title VII, and Star Trek. It's Joe's birthday.

1hr 43mins

8 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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Episode 102: Precautionary Federalism

Despite the fact that our show is pretty much the opposite of careful, we discuss precaution, regulation, and institutional choice with Sarah Light. The environmental and other effects of Uber and Lyft are complicated. If they’re very hard to calculate and understand, how should we regulate them to address their harms? With uncertain webs of causation, can the precautionary principle tell us not simply whether to regulate but who should regulate? Sarah thinks so. This show’s links: Sarah Light's faculty profile and writing Sarah Light, Precautionary Federalism and the Sharing Economy Lisa Rayle, Susan Shaheen, Nelson Chan, Danielle Dai, and Robert Cervero, App-Based, On-Demand Ride Services: Comparing Taxi and Ridesourcing Trips and Use Shared-Use Mobility Center, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public TransitCass Sunstein, Beyond the Precautionary PrincipleCass Sunstein, Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary PrincipleRobert Hahn and Cass Sunstein, The Precautionary Principle as a Basis for Decision Making Special Guest: Sarah Light.


24 Jun 2016

Rank #16

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Episode 72: The Guinea Pig Problem

With Michelle Meyer, a scholar of bioethics and law and a longtime listener of this show, we talk about human testing and Facebook. There’s a lot to talk about, but it doesn’t dissuade us from our customary, introductory nonsense, this time including a gift from listener Michelle, Star Wars, Joe’s mangling of last names, and Joe — and this actually happened — eating dog food. If you hate fun and want to get right to the colloquium part of America’s Faculty Colloquium, it starts a little after 23 minutes in. Should corporations be able to experiment on its customers and employees without their consent? Don’t they all do that, and haven’t they always? Don’t we all do that? Does it matter whether Facebook is more like a burrito stand or a utility? Mmmm… burritos. This show’s links: Michelle Meyer’s web page, faculty profile, and writing America’s Team The excellent Phantom Menace poster Vindu Goel, Facebook Tinkers with Users’ Emotions in News Feed Experiment, Stirring Outcry Christian Sandvig, Karrie Karahalios, and Cedric Langbort, Uncovering Algorithms: Looking Inside the Facebook News Feed Michelle Meyer, Everything You Need to Know about Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment (Wired) About social comparison theory and emotional contagion Adam Kramer, Jamie Guillory, and Jeffrey Hancock, Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks The Belmont Report The Common Rule Michelle Meyer and Christopher Chabris, Please, Corporations, Experiment on Us (N.Y. Times) James Grimmelmann, Illegal, Immoral, and Mood-Altering (Medium) Michelle Meyer et al., Misjudgements Will Drive Social Trials Underground (Nature) Michelle Meyer, Two Cheers for Corporate Experimentation: The A/B Illusion and the Virtues of Data-Driven Innovation Michele Meyer, More on the A/B Illusion: IRB Review, Debriefing, Power Asymmetries and a Challenge for Critics Special Guest: Michelle Meyer.

1hr 55mins

28 Aug 2015

Rank #17

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Episode 200: Cite Me, Don't Slight Me

We kick off Season 2 with assorted nonsense before diving into our second SCOTUS round-up, which consists entirely of the Supreme Court's decision on the census citizenship question. Dep't of Commerce v. New York

2hr 11mins

8 Jul 2019

Rank #18

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Episode 197: LARPing

We talk about LARPing, emotions, meaning, exam writing, grading, happiness, and other things. Lawrence S. Krieger and Kennon M. Sheldon, What Makes Lawyers Happy? A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success

1hr 27mins

15 May 2019

Rank #19

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Episode 207: Bribery

Sometimes in law, as in other areas of life, we think we know something, but the more we think about, the more we realize we don't know it at all. Legal scholars have focused on puzzles like this before, like why blackmail should be illegal. Deborah Hellman joins us to discuss her attempt to answer a question you might not have known you had: What is wrong with bribery, and what is bribery anyway? The difficulties here shed some light on recent events. Deborah Hellman's faculty profile and writing Deborah Hellman, A Theory of Bribery Oral Argument 206: What Are We? Special Guest: Deborah Hellman.

1hr 22mins

31 Jan 2020

Rank #20