Background Briefing: February 29, 2024

The Naked Partisanship of the Supreme Court’s Right Wing Majority

We begin with what appears to be naked partisanship on the part of the right wing majority on the Supreme Court who are delaying the January 6 insurrection case by entertaining Trump’s bogus immunity case that legal experts argue has no basis in the Constitution which the lower courts practically laughed out of court. Joining us is Caroline Fredrickson, a visiting professor at Georgetown Law School and a strategic councilor on democracy and power at the Open Markets Institute. She served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and, during the Clinton administration, as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. In 2021, she was appointed a member of the President’s Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States and is president emerita of the American Constitution Society. Her books include The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections.


The History of Supreme Courts That Have Served the Political Interests of Some of Our Worst Presidents

Then we look into the history of Supreme Courts that have served the political interests of some of our worst presidents going back to John Adams and how citizens fought back as the American majority should do today to prevent a lawless president, sanctified by a lawless Supreme Court, from turning the United States into a dictatorship. Joining us is Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University, where he teaches constitutional law and politics, (as well as visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School.) He is the author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents and Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection. His forthcoming book, out this July, is The Presidents and the People: Five Leaders Who Threatened Democracy and the Citizens Who Fought to Defend It.


A Revival of Labor with Organizing Wins at Starbucks and Mercedes

Then finally we assess the revival of labor with organizing wins at Starbucks and at the Mercedes plant in Alabama where a majority of workers signed up for UAW representation. Joining us is Hamilton Nolan, a labor journalist who writes regularly for In These Times magazine and The Guardian. He has written about labor, politics, and class war and was the longest-serving writer in Gawker’s history, and a leader in unionizing Gawker Media in 2015. His new book, just out, is The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor.