//  7/6/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we celebrate Independence Day with a look at the past, present, and future of judicial independence. Jason and Easha discuss the origins of judicial power, and then talk about what the Trump Administration has done that may undermine the authority of the judiciary—and where that kind of talk might lead us. As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Jason and Easha begin by explaining the origin of the federal judicial system in Article III of the Constitution and the early conflicts between the courts and Presidents. They then [at 9:45] discuss the unprecedented attacks that President Trump and his administration have made on individual judges and the legitimacy of the judicial system, and they wonder where it leads. Finally, [18:00-end] Easha and Jason get into something of a debate on whether Trump's actions may erode hard-earned judicial legitimacy and even judicial supremacy—or whether what some think of as virtually limitless judicial power and independence isn't quite as robust as it seems. 

The patriotic music on this week's episode was composed by John Philip Sousa, and the recordings are available royalty-free at musopen.org.

Please share or provide feedback, and rate us in iTunes. You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at versustrumppodcast@gmail.com. And wherever you stand on these issues, we hope you had a great Independence Day!

Links

  • Easha mentioned two papers authored or co-authored by Harvard's Maya Sen. Here is the one about race of a judge affecting reversal rates, and here is the one about ideology in the judiciary.
  • Here is an article mentioning the 1896 toast by a New York banker who claimed the Supreme Court was, among other things, a "guardian of the dollar."
  • Jason and Easha discussed several historical cases and incidents, including:
  • Newt Gingrich's promise to disobey Supreme Court rulings is discussed here.
  • A discussion of Border Patrol's failure to comply with court orders is here.

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It would be constitutional to have a 15-person Supreme Court consisting of five Republican-affiliated justices, five Democratic-affiliated Justices, and five more justices unanimously selected by the first ten from judges of the federal court of appeals for a single-year term

Daniel Epps

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Easha Anand

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