back arrowWhat Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

13- Criminal Justice and the POTUS


Episode description

Presidents don't usually weigh in on criminal cases. In fact, it’s critical to the integrity of the criminal justice system that the executive not try to influence the outcome of cases. But Trump can't help himself. President Trump has called the US criminal justice system “a joke.”

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32- Contempt Power

May 13th, 2019


What is Congress’ contempt power and how can they use it to force people to cooperate with their investigations?

31- Executive Privilege

April 18th, 2019


It's likely that Trump will invoke executive privilege during the numerous investigations and inquiries into his actions. Presidents have insisted they need to keep secrets to do their job effectively since Washington, …

30- The 25th Amendment

December 31st, 2018


What does the 25th Amendment say about presidential fitness, disability, and Trump?

29- Birthright Citizenship and the 14th Amendment

December 4th, 2018


Trump has threatened to revoke Birthright Citizenship with an executive order. This proposed order contradicts the Fourteenth Amendment, but Trump’s tweets contend otherwise.

28- Kavanaugh Special Episode

October 4th, 2018


Some of the Constitutional considerations of the Kavanaugh confirmation process. Recorded October 2, 2018.

27- Treason

September 13th, 2018


When Trump tweets just the single word “Treason?”, probably in reference to the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed, is he using that word correctly? What does our federal Constitution say about treason? And when exactly …

26- Roe

August 16th, 2018


Trump has a second Supreme Court pick and that has a lot of people wondering about the future of Roe v. Wade. Here we look at the constitutional basis of the decision and the strange personal history of Roe.

25- Justice Kennedy

July 6th, 2018


Justice Kennedy decided to retire at the end of this Supreme Court term. Kennedy has been the swing vote on a lot of important cases. He’s mostly considered a conservative, but he has voted with the more progressive …

24- Taking the Fifth

June 29th, 2018


Trump has said the taking the fifth makes "you look guilty as hell" but lot of Trump's associates are now taking the fifth in the Russia …

23- President Twitter and the First Amendment

June 9th, 2018


Can Trump block people on Twitter? It turns out, the First Amendment has something to say about that.

22- Posse Comitatus

May 22nd, 2018


The Posse Comitatus Act limits the federal government’s ability to use the military to enforce domestic policy within the United States. However, …

21- Attorney Client Privilege

April 27th, 2018


When the office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was raided by the FBI, Trump took twitter to express his concern. He wrote “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” Let’s see if it is.

20- Deadly Force

March 15th, 2018


The Fourth Amendment includes the right to be secure from “unreasonable searches and seizure.” We have some idea of how this applies to cops, but if …

19- The Poisonous Tree

February 23rd, 2018


The Russia investigation has been called a "witch hunt" by Trump and his supporters on Twitter. And they've invoked the legal concept "the fruit of the poisonous tree" to invalidate the investigation. What does the …

18- The Tenth Amendment

February 9th, 2018


The Tenth Amendment limits the federal government’s control over the states, but the interpretation of that limit is always shifting.

17- The 4th Amendment and the Border

January 25th, 2018


The Fourth Amendment says that “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches, …

16- Defamation

January 14th, 2018


Trump likes to threaten the press with libel lawsuits. What does the Constitution have to say about defamation and the press?

15- Challenge Coin

December 28th, 2017


You might not remember December 22, 2017 as a particularly notable day, but I will always remember it as the day the world first saw Donald Trump’s …

14- Prosecuting a President

December 14th, 2017


Two Vice Presidents have been indicted with criminal charges while serving in office, but does the Constitution allow the prosecution of a President? Elizabeth Joh and Roman Mars explore this question.

12- Right to Dissent

November 2nd, 2017


From "taking a knee" to refusing to salute the flag, the US has a rich history of public dissent, a right guaranteed by the Constitution. But you’d be surprised to learn that the Supreme Court has taken drastically …

11- War Powers

October 19th, 2017


What does the Constitution say about the president’s ability to wage war and what is the role of Congress?

10- Impeachment

October 9th, 2017


Impeachment is talked about a lot, but it is extremely rare. Impeachment is the constitutional emergency measure written into the constitution itself. We talk about the procedure impeachment and why it's so hard.

9- Commerce Clause

August 17th, 2017


The federal government can't pass any law it wants to. It's limited by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, but the executive branch can choose how to enforce those laws. Under Trump, there are indications that drug …

8- The Takings Clause

August 10th, 2017


To build a wall, Trump is going to need to seize private land. The Constitution has something to say about that and it’s known as the Takings Clause.

7- Recess Appointment Power

August 3rd, 2017


The Constitution says that the president can appoint important executive positions with the advice and consent of the Senate. But what if the Senate is out on recess? Does the president have to wait until the Senate …

6- The Emoluments Clauses

July 20th, 2017


The Constitution says that a “person holding any office of profit or trust” cannot accept gifts from any foreign state. In Article II, it also says …

5- Presidential Immunity

July 13th, 2017


There have already been a few high profile lawsuits against President Trump and the first defense against such a lawsuit is to claim that the president cannot be sued in civil court. But it turns out, the Supreme Court …

4- The Spending Clause

June 29th, 2017


In an executive order, Trump threatened to withhold federal money from any place acting as a “sanctuary city.” Supreme Court rulings over the 20th …

3- Pardon Power

June 22nd, 2017


There are reports that the Trump administration is being investigated for obstruction of justice. This has led a lot of people to wonder if the …

2- The Appointments Clause and Removal Power

June 15th, 2017


The US Constitution has a clause that describes how the president can hire certain political appointees with the advice and consent of the Senate. It …

1- Judicial Legitimacy

June 8th, 2017


Back in February 2017, Trump tweeted a criticism of the “so-called judge” who blocked the enforcement of his travel ban. Why does the president have to listen to what the courts say? We’re going to tell the story of a …

0- Intro to What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

June 8th, 2017


Welcome to “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law"! Every week Roman Mars (99% Invisible) will host a fun, casual Con Law 101 class that uses the …

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