What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law
By: Roman Mars
Professor Elizabeth Joh teaches Intro to Constitutional Law and most of the time this is a pretty straight forward job. But with Trump in office, everything has changed. Five minutes before class Professor Joh checks Twitter to find out what the 45th President has said and how it jibes with 200 years of the judicial branch interpreting and ruling on the Constitution. Hosted by acclaimed podcaster Roman Mars (99% Invisible, co-founder Radiotopia), this show is a weekly, fun, casual Con Law 101 class that uses the tumultuous and erratic activities of the executive branch under Trump to teach us all about the US Constitution. Proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
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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 Constitution’s presidential pardon power could be used to absolve members of his administration, or even himself, from criminal charges. And what does the Constitution say about how a pardon has to be presented? Can Trump pardon someone with a tweet?
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.
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 judges on cases having to do with gay rights and abortion. His successor will be appointed by Trump and that has many progressives concerned that the replacement will be even more conservative.
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 investigation. How should we interpret people taking the fifth?
Can Trump block people on Twitter? It turns out, the First Amendment has something to say about that.
The Posse Comitatus Act limits the federal government’s ability to use the military to enforce domestic policy within the United States. However, this act has so many allowable exceptions, it has rarely been officially violated. When Trump suggests “The Feds” should police Chicago to get the murder rate down, he might have found the perfect example of a Posse Comitatus Act violation.
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.
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 teachers are allowed to carry guns in school, are they also subject to the Fourth Amendment?
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 Fourth Amendment say about tainted investigations and does it apply to Trump?
The Tenth Amendment limits the federal government’s control over the states, but the interpretation of that limit is always shifting.
The Fourth Amendment says that “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” But at the border, warrantless searches are OK, even when it comes to our digital devices. With Trump's focus on the border, this is becoming a bigger deal.