Welcome to Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a reader-supported publication; you can subscribe by clicking on the button below. Thanks!
Because I was busy welcoming our baby boy into the world, I was unable to procure an outside guest for this week’s podcast. This gave me the opportunity to do something I’ve been wanting to do since the show began: argue with my husband (and not about how to load the dishwasher, which he always gets wrong).
My guest this week is my Dear Husband, Zachary Baron Shemtob. Zach is an academic turned lawyer who has written extensively, for both scholarly publications and the popular press, about the Supreme Court, the federal judiciary, and legal theory. He has provocative opinions and unorthodox proposals about these topics, and whether or not you agree with his views—and in this podcast, I mostly disagree—they’re certainly worth some thought. (As a former academic, Zach could probably write a law-review article about each of his ideas, so this 40-minute podcast can’t do them justice.)
In this episode, Zach and I discuss “judicial celebrity,” the practice of treating judges like celebs (which Zach finds problematic, even if he would readily admit that it’s not the greatest threat to civilization); his plan to Make SCOTUS Great Again, which involves making the Court bigger and more boring; a potpourri of jurisprudential issues, including originalism, Chevron deference, and the major-questions doctrine; and, finally, movies—including but not limited to My Cousin Vinny and Everything Everywhere All at Once.
If you want more confrontation in this podcast and appreciate some good verbal sparring, then this episode is for you. Please let us know your thoughts on this different format, in the comments or by email; if this episode is popular, perhaps I’ll ask Zach to join me again, whether as a guest or a co-host. Enjoy!
Judicial Duty and the Supreme Court’s Cult of Celebrity, by Craig Lerner and Nelson Lund for the George Washington Law Review
Our Kardashian Court (and How to Fix It), by Suzanna Sherry for the Iowa Law Review
Celebrity Justice: Supreme Court Edition, by Rick Hasen for the Green Bag
Reflections on Judging, by Richard A. Posner
The Supreme Court Doesn't Need 9 Justices. It Needs 27, by Jacob Hale Russell for Time
Prefer reading to listening? For paid subscribers, a transcript of the entire episode appears below.
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