Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Monday, September 30, 2019

Strict Scrutiny: A Conversational, Approachable Supreme Court Podcast

Over the last couple of weeks, this blog has mentioned several new podcasts. Another to add to the list is Strict Scrutiny. It launched this summer, and includes commentary by professors Leah Litman, Melissa Murray, and Kate Shaw, and appellate lawyer Jaime Santos. It’s being described as “a podcast about the Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.”

Three episodes were released over the summer, and today they released the first episode of the fall term. Each episode is a little over an hour long. I’ve now listened to almost all of the released podcasts have already subscribed for the future episodes. I’m hooked! First, it’s a substantive discussion of the Supreme Court, with explanations that would be approachable for law students, lawyers, and others interested in the Court. I discussed stare decisis with my 1Ls last week, so I am planning to recommend that they listen to episode 1 to hear more about the concept in action at the Court last term.

Second, it’s conversational and light-hearted. I’m enjoying the pop-culture references and tone. Any podcast that makes Pitch Perfect jokes about ACCA is right up my alley. I found myself chuckling frequently. For the most part, I view podcasts as a form of entertainment, and I think the approach of these contributors is striking the right balance of informative and approachable. These experts are conscientious about discussing complex cases in an understandable way. Finally, as the contributors themselves note, Supreme Court practice and commentary is often male-dominated, so it’s a refreshing change to hear a conversation between four impressive women about the Court.

I’m already looking forward to more episodes as they are released every couple of weeks during the upcoming term.

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