Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo & Senik
What We Saw at the Revolution

What We Saw at the Revolution

January 8, 2021

Pack a lunch because this is the longest session we’ve ever held in the faculty lounge. In the final Law Talk of the Trump Administration, we break down all the events of the last week: Congress’s attempt to stymie the tallying of the electoral vote, the role of the Vice President, whether President Trump should be removed from office, a seeming breakdown in the chain of command, and a reaction to the president’s attempt to pressure Georgia’s Secretary of State. Then it’s on to the incoming Biden Administration, as the professors react to Merrick Garland’s nomination to be Attorney General, the push for statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., and the prospect of Justice Breyer’s retirement from the Supreme Court. Then we cap it all off with the professors’ final judgments on the Trump Administration. All that, plus breaking news from Twitter and McDonald’s and … less-than-breaking news from the annals of Roman Law.

Eating a McRib in Evening Dress

Eating a McRib in Evening Dress

December 8, 2020

The faculty lounge has reopened for its holiday party, but there’s still plenty of business to dispense with. On this final installment of 2020, Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are tackling a stocking full of issues: Does a suit from the Texas Attorney General stand any chance of being the Hail Mary that the Trump campaign needs? Can the courts rein in the Michael Flynn pardon? Who’s the least menacing candidate to be Joe Biden’s Attorney General? Does the Supreme Court’s smackdown of Andrew Cuomo represent a turning point on COVID restrictions? Will the justices save President Trump’s plan to exclude illegal immigrants from the census? Has the era of government by executive order gone too far? And finally, how, is it possible that Gavin Newsom can unilaterally end the automobile as we know it in California?

Stale Emergencies

Stale Emergencies

November 23, 2020

It’s a Thanksgiving feast of legal analysis in the faculty lounge (don’t worry, the profs issue opinions on the best side dishes for your holiday meal), as Richard Epstein & John Yoo convene for their first post-election session. On the menu: Do any of President Trump’s legal challenges to the outcome of the election have a chance in court? Are attempts to get state legislatures to change their electoral votes constitutional? Would a president Joe Biden actually have the power to issue a national mask mandate? Will increasingly restrictive COVID rules at the state level withstand scrutiny by the courts? Was Justice Alito out of line to issue politically-charged remarks at the Federalist Society convention? And finally, the question of the hour: does President Trump have the power to pardon himself?

Judging Amy

Judging Amy

October 31, 2020

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire, as professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo take us from the just-concluded drama of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings to the just-emerging drama over the Supreme Court’s role in the 2020 election. Along the way they consider how seriously we should take the court-packing threat; whether super-precedents are actually a thing; if Roe v. Wade and the ACA are actually in danger with a Justice Barrett on the court; and what the newest Supreme Court justice's judicial blindspot is most likely to be. Then it’s on to the Supreme Court’s unpredictable role in the 2020 presidential election. Will Chief Justice Roberts surprise us all again? Do any of the lessons of Bush v. Gore apply this year? And does ACB have a duty to recuse herself? Come for the top-shelf legal analysis, stay for Professor Epstein posing a grammar brainteaser for the ages.

Supreme Court: Ragnarok

Supreme Court: Ragnarok

September 22, 2020

An emergency meeting has been called in the faculty lounge as professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo react to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sharing their personal remembrances of the late justice and reflecting on her judicial legacy. Then, an analysis of what’s to come: Should the Senate steam ahead with confirmation (there’s a divide in the faculty lounge)? Which of the prospective nominees should President Trump choose? What are the odds that the GOP will once again find itself undermined by a justice who ‘evolves’ on the court? And how credible are Democratic threats of court-packing? All that and more in our comprehensive coverage of the biggest legal story of the year.

Epstein, Yoo, & You

Epstein, Yoo, & You

August 26, 2020
In an August faculty lounge tradition, Professors Epstein & Yoo are taking listener questions — and it’s an eclectic bunch. Tune in as the professors debate everything from the limits of stare decisis to whether Barack Obama could be Vice President; from whether there should be more politicians on the Supreme Court to the legal problems with Dred Scott (yes, it involves Roman law); from the lack of intellectual diversity on college campuses to the radicalism in Seattle’s city government. All that plus the hosts survey the wreckage in their home cities, consider the virtues of not being a Supreme Court clerk, and spend some time on William Howard Taft arcana. As you do.
Stone’s Rules

Stone’s Rules

July 13, 2020
There’s a full docket in the faculty lounge as Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo tackle the Roger Stone case and review the Supreme Court term that was: How did John Roberts justify taking both sides of the abortion regulations case within just a few years? Why does the Court get so many religious liberty cases these days — and is Antonin Scalia to blame? Has the pursuit of President Trump’s tax records seen SCOTUS open up a pandora’s box? And did the Court just give a huge chunk of Oklahoma back to Native Americans? All that plus the profs head to the suburbs, and we answer the question "Is it time to start worrying about Justice Gorsuch?” Also, remember to submit your questions for the upcoming Law Talk Q&A in the comments or to troy@ricochet.com 
 
Give Me the Epstein!

Give Me the Epstein!

June 16, 2020

Summer school is starting early in the faculty lounge. On this episode, Professors Epstein and Yoo have a full agenda: Are Minnesota prosecutors setting themselves up for a fall in the Derek Chauvin case? Should the Supreme Court have taken a case that could have allowed it to pare back qualified immunity? What should we make of Justice Gorsuch’s surprising turn in the LGBT discrimination case? Or Chief Justice Roberts siding with the court’s liberals in subjecting California churches to strict COVID protocols? Does President Trump have the power to stop John Bolton’s book from being released? And, finally, can we find eternal truths about intellectual property law in the battle between a couple of authors of wolf-themed erotica? At least one professor thinks so!

A Race to the Bottom

A Race to the Bottom

May 13, 2020

While everyone else is holding their graduation ceremonies on Zoom, professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are still hard at work in the faculty lounge. On this installment: Is the end of the Michael Flynn case justice served or justice denied? Should sexual assault cases be tried on college campuses? Can the government stick the landing on the end of coronavirus lockdowns? Does the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Bridgegate convictions mean a free-for-all on government corruption? And is President Trump about to dodge a bullet on his tax returns? All that plus Epstein and a small child stare out a window, Yoo explores the black market in haircuts, and we finally get to the bottom of the Supreme Court’s mid-oral arguments toilet flush.

Rise of the Micro-Tyrant

Rise of the Micro-Tyrant

April 16, 2020

With Professors Epstein and Yoo deemed essential workers, the faculty lounge reopens for another round of COVID-19 analysis. On this episode: Can President Trump override state efforts to keep economies shuttered? Are there limits to the intrusive restrictions being enacted by the nation’s governors? Do churches (or abortion clinics) get special treatment during shutdowns? How can the Chinese government be held to account for the spread of coronavirus? What was the right response to the USS Roosevelt controversy? Was President Trump justified in removing a troublesome inspector general? And does a new report show it’s time to blow up the FISA proces? All that plus a Law Talk examination of Tom Brady’s new IP play, a sampling of avian life in John’s neighborhood, and we play “Which Prof is More Likely to Snap in Lockdown?