Background Briefing: April 10, 2024


The Arizona Supreme Court Takes the State Back to 1864 Before it Was a State With a Draconian Abortion Law

We begin with the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling to take Arizona back 160 years to before it was a state making an 1864 law criminalizing abortion the law of the land in two weeks. Joining us to discuss how Trump and Republicans are trying to weasel their way out of a situation of their making is Jessica Mason Pieklo, a Senior Vice President and Executive Editor at Rewire.News and co-host of the Boom! Lawyered podcast. She is a writer and a law professor in Boulder, Colorado and is the former assistant director of the Health Law Clinic at Hamline Law School in St. Paul, Minnesota. The recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Online Journalism Award, she co-authored Crow After Roe: How Women’s Health Is the New “Separate But Equal” and How to Change That.


The Left/Right Coalition Refusing to Reauthorize FISA With MAGA Republicans Doing so Because Trump Thinks it Was Used to Spy on Him

Then, with a left-right coalition of civil libertarians and MAGA Republicans refusing to re-authorize Section 702 of FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the latter because Trump thinks it was used to spy on him, we speak with James Risen, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. His investigative reporting has triggered a series of political firestorms and among his best-selling books are State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration and Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War. The Senior National Security Correspondent at The Intercept and a former investigative journalist with the New York Times, his new book is The Last Honest Man: The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys―and One Senator’s Fight to Save Democracy.


The Fatal Combination of Passivity in the Electorate and Trump’s Impunity Could End American Democracy

Then finally we examine the true danger Trump poses from a combination of passivity in the electorate on the one hand and the impunity of Trump’s anti-democratic criminal clique of kleptocrats on the other, which will be fatal for our democracy. Joining us is Caroline Fredrickson, a visiting professor at Georgetown Law 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, as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, 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. The 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 and we will discuss her op-ed in The New York Times, “What Worries Me Most About a Trump Presidency.”