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Every episode, legal expert Andrew and comic relief Thomas will tackle a popular legal topic and give you all the tools you need to understand the issue and win every argument you have on Facebook, with your Uncle Frank, or wherever someone is wrong on the Internet. It's law. It's politics. It's f…

Thomas Smith and Andrew Torrez

    • Oct 19, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 12m AVG DURATION
    • 550 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Opening Arguments

    OA535: Roe is Doomed. Contraceptives Could Be Next - Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 76:41

    This is part 2 of the deep-dive into Griswold v Connecticut. If you didn't catch part 1, make sure to listen! It's OA533! But also, since we love you so much, there's a wildcard on more Sidney Powell terrible lawyering! She's the grift that keeps on giving.

    OA534: State and Federal Agencies Now Fighting EACH OTHER in Blizzard Activision Case

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 67:59

    Our own Andrew Torrez broke this news while on vacation, no less! Here's an article referencing the podcast! We had assumed that the DFEH and the EEOC were working in coordination on the Blizzard Activision case, but that turns out to NOT be the case! Listen to Andrew break down this startling development! After that, one (maybe) final look back at the Weird Al episode for an Andrew (and Thomas) was wrong!

    OA533: Roe is Doomed. Contraceptives Could Be Next

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 58:31

    Today is part 1 of a much needed but quite dire deep-dive. The case is Griswold v. Connecticut, which may be familiar even to the layperson. It's what gives us the right to buy contraceptives and not have shopkeepers ask us if we're married. How could that possibly be overturned, you might ask? Well, legally speaking, it is justified in the exact same way as Roe. Listen to learn more.

    OA532: OK I'll Bite What is the Debt Ceiling

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 72:05

    If that's something you've been too afraid to say lately, this is the episode for you! Andrew breaks down the history of the debt ceiling, and why it is as pointless as it is potentially catastrophic! And a wildcard segment on Texas SB 8 being enjoined. Come see Thomas and others (like Ross and Carrie!) for California Freethought Day! It's online this year! Info here. Links: 31 US Code § 3101 - Public debt limit, DOJ motion for injunction

    public bite doj debt ceiling us code california freethought day
    OA531: Pop-law! Nirvana Sued by the Nevermind Baby; and a #FreeBritney Update!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 70:56

    Everyone's favorite Ace Associate, Morgan Stringer, is back for another rousing edition of Morgan's Pop-law! So many of you asked us about the Nirvana lawsuit, so we've got the full breakdown for you. And Jamie Spears is no longer the conservator over Britney! We are one step closer to hashtag freeing Britney! Links: Nevermind That Nirvana Child Pornography Lawsuit, Attorneys Say, Elden v Nirvana, Inside Nirvana's 'Nevermind' Pool Party, 25 Years Later, Born To Swim?, Jamie Spears was removed from Britney Spears's conservatorship

    OA530: Andrew Testifies to Congress on Christian Healthshare Ministries!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 66:21

    Mr. Torrez went to Washington! Ok ok, not quite as glamorous as all that, but Andrew DID testify via Skype in a closed door congressional hearing about Christian Healthshare Ministries! How cool is that! Andrew breaks down what he talked about, and the new facts he dug up in his preparation! Also, if you or anyone you know has been harmed by a Healthshare, please write into the show! Email is below. In the second half, Andrew goes through the Activision Blizzard settlement and why it is good news! Links: Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries 990, National Coalition of Health Care Sharing Ministries 990, Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan Inc. 990, Christian Healthcare Ministries 990, Initial Blizzard lawsuit, Activision Blizzard Confirms SEC Is Investigating It, EEOC (federal) – lawsuit filed Monday 9/27

    OA529: The Weird Al Deep-Dive We Didn't Know We Desperately Needed

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 75:30

    Alright so... we got a lot of emails from our satire-related episode. Like a lot. And it all focused on the same one thing from a quick aside about Weird Al. Since then, a massive debate has taken place in the Facebook group over whether or not satirists like Weird Al would owe royalties. Andrew's previous segment said no; many commenters say yes. So are we issuing an Andrew was wrong? Find out the answer to that and MANY fascinating related issues in our much needed Weird Al deep-dive!

    OA528: Disgraced Ex-President Sues Niece Mary Trump

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2021 77:35

    for... revealing the depths of the Trump family tax crimes. This suit has not been reported very well in the media. Andrew has the breakdown, and the main takeaway that should be the headline everywhere this is covered. But that's not all the Trump related news! Indeed we've got two more stories somehow crammed into this episode. They involve two "bad documents" as we call them here on the show. The Dominion letter and the Eastman memo. One reveals the election lies were known bull shit and the other is a blueprint for a coup. Yikes.

    OA527: The Hilarious Legal Battle Over 'OlneyFans' Parody Article

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 66:46

    When the Tacoma Torch posted this hilarious parody news story, the Olney Community Baseball Team responded in the worst possible way – they had their lawyer try to intimidate the satirical site into silence. What the hell were they thinking? It only got more hilarious from there. Listen in for Andrew's breakdown! In the first segment, we go over some great listener feedback, including an email from the person who unmasked Terpsichore Maras. And several thoughtful, important missives from some of our transmasculine listeners on the language around the Texas Abortion Bill coverage. Then, because Andrew has apparently been taking some time management enhancing drugs or something, we get a WILDCARD segment on some really terrible people involved in the insurrection being allowed back into polite society like nothing ever happened. Links: Women Aren't The Only Ones Who Need “Women's Health”, Tacoma Torch brilliant response, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988), Appellate court opinion, Campbell v. Acuff Rose, 510 U.S. 569 (1994), Sidney Powell Claims 70% Of California Recall Voters Were Turned Away From Polls In One County

    OA526: Updates from Five Cases on the OA Docket

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 67:38

    So many updates, so little time! Listen as Andrew breaks down the developments in five cases: Texas SB8, E. Jean Carroll, Activision Blizzard, Roger Stone, and Pauline Bauer! If you're doubting that he can squeeze all that into one episode, you're not alone! Links: DoJ motion for injunction, Planned Parenthood et al. v. Texas Right to Life, Carroll v Trump reply brief, letter requesting stay, Activision hires new executives, Activision Blizzard NLRB case, Roger Stone interrupted during radio interview to get served, Capitol police complaint, State response to Bauer, motion to revoke pretrial release

    OA525: Insurrectionist Mounts Sovereign Citizen Legal Defense, Hilarity Ensues

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 77:18

    It's Andrew's favorite thing in the world! No, not Transformers porn... Ok, it's Andrew's second favorite thing in the world: Sovereign Citizen nutbaggery. Listen as Andrew breaks down the hilarious, nonsensical gibberish that is: the Sovereign Citizen insurrectionist! Links: Pauline fires lawyer, Hernandez still doing her best, motion to dismiss, courts rebut nonsense

    OA524: Laurence Tribe Thinks Grendel's Den Case Will Stop the Texas Abortion Law. Is He Right?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2021 66:46

    Andrew's favorite Constitutional Law expert, Laurence Tribe, has written an op-ed in the Boston Globe arguing that a Massachusetts case called Larkin v. Grendel's Den will "end the Texas abortion law." That sounds too good to be true. So, is it too good to be true? Or is it just true? Find out! But that's not all, infact we've got 2 more segments in this action packed show! There's another glorious Kraken Sanctions update, which includes an itemized bill for $200,000 that Sidney Powell will be picking up. And in the wildcard, we break down an interesting case involving Facebook in Australia. They don't have a pesky Section 230 down under, which leads to some very fascinating results from an American perspective. Also we briefly discuss the Merrick Garland announcement. Links: Whitmer sanctions tab, Fink sanctions tab, Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, States' Stances on Public Interest Standing, Wis law 5.90(2)

    OA523: Is the CA Recall Unconstitutional?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 75:02

    Andrew breaks down the state of the recall, the porked polls, and Clark v. Weber! Paffrath still seems to be some sort of Democratic frontrunner, but how much of that is real and how much is poll pork? After breaking down the interesting arguments in the suit against the recall, we answer a listener who is critical of our critical opinions of the recall. Were we wrong? Find out! Links: Clark v Weber complaint, opposition, the ruling

    OA522: Roe v. Wade is Dead.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2021 71:29

    This is not an exaggeration. Sure, technically speaking the Supreme Court hasn't said the magic words "we overturn Roe v. Wade" but they used the shadow docket to effectively eliminate it. This is bad. Very, very bad. So what exactly happened? What's in the Texas law that SCOTUS allowed to stand? How completely garbage, unprecedented, and counter to the rule of law is this move? Listen the Andrew's expert analysis and find out.

    OA521: Knowledge Fight Explains the Owen Shroyer Grift

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 70:51

    Our friends Dan and Jordan from the Knowledge Fight podcast are here to break down a creative grift being pulled off by Owen Shroyer. Who tf is Owen Shroyer, Thomas asks? He's an Alex Jones wannabe who has raised $250,000 to defend himself against... basically some made up BS. Listen and enjoy this hilarious breakdown! Links: Shroyer indictment, 18 US Code § 1752, 40 US Code § 5104 - Unlawful activities, 2018 Sentencing Guidelines Manual, addendum order, 28 CFR § 50.10 reporter policy

    OA520: Kraken Lawyers Hit with Sanctions! YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 62:19

    Today's episode is. So. Satisfying. It's not just sanctions against all the Kraken lawyers. That alone would already be amazing. But it's ALSO consequences for world's most punchable douchebag Jacob Wohl. It's so, so good. Take a listen. You've earned it. Ok full disclosure there is a slight amount of bad news regarding Texas Democrats having to return to the state empty handed, since a couple of Democrats refuse to do the right thing and eliminate the filibuster. No sugar coating that one, but we move quickly through that and get to the awesome news! Links: Sanctions order, Texas Dems end quorum-busting efforts, FCC PROPOSES $5 MILLION ROBOCALLING FINE AGAINST JACOB WOHL AND JOHN BURKMAN

    OA519: No, Britney Spears' Dad Is NOT Stepping Down as Conservator

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 80:16

    It's another edition of Ace Associate Morgan Stringer's Pop Law! The media widely reported that Jamie Spears intends to step down as conservator. BUT.. that's a bad law thingy. He actually isn't. Tune in and hear the real law talkin'! Then, we talk about some great news in the battle for trans rights. Hobby Lobby was dealt a loss by the court. On the bad news front though, the Whole Woman's Health v. Paxton decision was horrible. But Mr. Sunshine himself, Andrew Torrez, has a positive spin for us. Links: Hobby Lobby v. Sommerville, Texas can ban common abortion procedure in second trimester, appeals court rules, prior Fifth Circuit panel opinion, Fifth Circuit en banc

    OA518: Terpsichore Tries Her Hand at Frivolous Lawsuits

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 20, 2021 68:59

    Terpsichore, who also goes by dozens of slight variations on her name, saw the Kraken nonsense that has led to nothing but sanctions hearing after sanctions hearing and figured why not do... more terrible law. She's suing Dominion back for eleventy billion dollars. How is that damages number justified? GFY. What are the alleged counts of defamation? GFY. Where do these horrible lawyers keep coming from and how did they beat Thomas at the bar exam? We'll never know. Hear all about it on today's show! After that, we do some Andrew was wrong, regarding gift taxes and British courts. Plus an email from the one and only Michael Marshall on Telegram and how it does seem to be the app of choice for horrible racists. Links: 26 US Code § 102,  Gift Taxes, House of Lords - Wikipedia, Virginia Governor's Council, Terpsichore affidavit, Terpsichore deleted webpage, Tore Maras-Lindeman bio, complaint if you can call it that, ND vs Terp and all her names, Jones v. Trice, 360 S.W.2d 48 (1962)

    OA517: Cuomo Resigns; Dominion Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss - AKA Consequences for Baddies!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 75:38

    It's a consequences episode, our favorite genre! Our first bit of great news is that Cuomo resigned. Andrew has a few follow up thoughts on that and our episode on Cuomo, as well as some introductory information on who will be New York's first ever female Governor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul! Then we get to the great news of the Dominion Lawsuit surviving a motion to dismiss. If you've listened to the show for a while, you might have noticed that defamation suits tend to have a tough time surviving motions to dismiss. That's because our 1st Amendment is very broad. But the Big Liars went so beyond the pale, they're finding out even the 1st Amendment has limits. Yay! Links: NY AG report on Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, Hochul's govtrac, Hochul speaks, Survey USA poll, Emerson Poll, Dominion Opinion

    OA516: We Turned Down Ads for a Scam Company Called CrowdHealth. Other Shows May Not. Send Them This!

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2021 71:42

    We bring you a somewhat unusual rapid-response Friday episode in which we break down a new startup company, CrowdHealth, Inc., that is apparently engaged in a mass ad buy across the kinds of podcasts you likely listen to. This means that within a few weeks, you'll probably be hearing all sorts of paid testimonials for a product that does not exist right now and bears all the hallmarks of a classic (legal) scam. This company is funded with $6 million -- some (most?) of which will be spent on the advertising blitz we refused to be a part of. Would you trust an insurance company with just $6 million in reserves? (No.) Would you trust an insurance company that offered contradictory promises? (No.) Does it make any sense to pay an underfunded entity for the right to pay your own medical bills? (No.) We explain how this is almost certainly someone who is very familiar with the kinds of Christian Health Share Ministry scams we debunked in Episode 497 and is trying to replicate that -- only worse. Listen and find out why. For service of process purposes, Opening Arguments is a product of and is copyright (c) 2021 Opening Arguments Media, LLC, a Maryland limited liability company with its principle place of business at 28 E. Susequehanna Ave., Suite 206, Towson, Maryland 21287. This episode relied upon the following resources: Links: Websites: goes nowhere; is an unrelated company selling KN95 masks and other COVID supplies; this product is at the (unfinished) website You can read the two-page flyer CrowdHealth sent out here. We explained why Christian Health Sharing Ministries are a scam back in Episode 497. You can search for CrowdHealth, Inc., a Texas corporation organized on April 19, 2021, on the Texas Corporations website's search page (it will pull up in a separate window). Here is a link to CrowdHealth's SEC Form D filing showing it raised $6,025,800 from 23 angel investors; that story was covered in the May 10, 2021 issue of the Austin Business Journal. And if you want to know more about CrowdHealth's founder, CEO, and (possibly?) it's only shareholder, Andy Schoonover, you can check out: a) Andy's LinkedIn page; b) his LinkedIn post soliciting doctors to share pricing information and promising "a bunch of uninsured folks who want to pay you quickly and $$ directly"; c) his stupid unfunny TikTok thing he shared on LinkedIn; d) his Twitter page; and e) his bio at Lion Venture Partners. Legal documents: IRS Publication 16-0051; 26 U.S.C. § 213; and 26 U.S.C § 5000A Appearances None. Invite us on! -Support us on Patreon at: -Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos! -Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs -Facebook:, and don't forget the OA Facebook Community! -For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki -And finally, remember that you can email us at!

    OA515: Who Governs the Governors?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2021 76:40

    NY Governor Cuomo was found to have committed criminal sexual harassment. Almost all top Democrats, including Preseident Biden, has said he must resign. But will he? If he doesn't, what options remain for removal? Meanwhile, Governor Newsom of CA is facing a recall election and isn't guilty of any serious misconduct. So what gives? How can Californians be voting to recall a relatively decent Governor, but New Yorkers can't recall a disgusting creep? As usual, Andrew has the full breakdown!

    OA514: I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2021 73:20

    Today's episode tracks recent developments in the two major stories we covered recently: last Friday's Episode 512 regarding the ongoing quest to hold lawyers accountable for the (nonsense) lawsuits they file, and Tuesday's Episode 513 about the California v. Activision Blizzard lawsuit. We begin with an Andrew Was Wrong about language and then describe the developments since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard for allegations of widespread discrimination in the workplace. Learn what the Activision employees are demanding and other efforts for activism surrounding the lawsuit. After that, it's time to check in on the effect that a late-breaking sanctions order in Colorado may have on the Kraken sanction hearings we know and love. Join us as we break it down for you! Links Click here for the Judge's Order granting sanctions in O'Rourke et al. v. Dominion Voting Systems et al. (D. Colo.). King v. Whitmer docs: (a) transcript of the sanctions hearing. (b) Detroit's reply brief; (c) Lin Wood's reply brief; (d) Emily Newman's reply brief; (e) Donald Campbell's reply brief on behalf of Sidney Powell, Howard Kleinhendler and others; and (f) Gov. Whitmer's reply brief. Appearances None. Invite us on! -Support us on Patreon at: -Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos! -Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs -Facebook:, and don't forget the OA Facebook Community! -For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki -And finally, remember that you can email us at!

    OA513: California v. Activision Blizzard, Inc

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 78:37

    If you're a gamer, or just very online, you have likely seen a ton of coverage of an explosive lawsuit against Activision. It alleges discriminatory behavior against women, ranging from general pay discrepancies to specific sexual misconduct claims. As usual, law-expert Andrew Torrez has the complete breakdown for us! Before that, we read a very moving email from Jane Doe #12 in the Liberty University suit. Links: The Atari Timeline, Activisionaries: How Four Programmers Changed The Game Industry, 42 US Code § 2000e–2 - Unlawful employment practices, Section 432.6 - Requiring waiver of rights prohibited

    OA512: Actions Continue to Have Consequences!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 67:54

    Today's episode updates two separate lawsuits related to the 1/6 insurrection: Rep. Eric Swalwell's suit against Trump, Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks and the ongoing drama surrounding sanctions for the Kraken lawyers in King v. Whitmer, the Michigan lawsuit that exposed just how nonsensical all of the Kraken election lawsuits were. In the first segment, we learn that neither Merrick Garland's Department of Justice nor counsel for the House of Representatives believe that "inciting insurrection" is within the scope of your employment if you're a member of the House of Representatives, so... Mo Brooks is on his own on this one. This is all about the Westfall Act, which we last discussed in Episode 498. In the main segment, we check back in now that all the supplemental briefs have been filed after the mammoth 6-hour Michigan sanctions hearing. Learn who had the worst filing (hint: someone did worse than Lin Wood!), who had the... least worst?... and what is in store for all of the Kraken lawyers! BONUS: We've attached the complete six-hour hearing transcript. Links: Swalwell v. Trump: (a) docket report; (b) Swalwell's opposition to Brooks's Westfall Act motion; (c) decision of House counsel to decline to represent Brooks; and (d) DOJ's decision to decline to represent Brooks. We last discussed the Westfall Act in Episode 498. King v. Whitmer transcript of the sanctions hearing. Lin Wood's (a) brief 1 and brief 2; and (b) prior inconsistent brief in the Delaware Supreme Court admitting he represented plaintiffs in Michigan. Donald Campbell's brief on behalf of Sidney Powell, Howard Kleinhendler, and the rest of the Kraken idiots. Hoo boy, the brief filed by Stefanie Lambert Junttila on her own behalf... maybe don't represent yourself, Stef? And just because Stef didn't read it doesn't mean you shouldn't read Mezibov v. Allen, 411 F.3d 712 (6th Cir. 2005). The City of Detroit's (a) Safe Harbor letter and attached motion; and (b) supplemental brief (that's fire)! Remember all of this is about Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Finally, if you search the transcript you'll see Howard Kleinhendler make the "fraud vitiates everything" argument, for which David Fink rightly skewers him in the City of Detroit's supplemental brief. Check out more on this stupid argument here. Appearances None. Invite us on! -Support us on Patreon at: -Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos! -Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs -Facebook:, and don't forget the OA Facebook Community! -For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki -And finally, remember that you can email us at!

    OA511: More on the Censorious Right's Unconstitutional Quest to Cancel Knowledge

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 72:31

    In a dizzy euphoria at having had a single good interaction with a stranger on Facebook, Andrew decided to listen to an episode of Bari Weiss's podcast featuring a debate between Chris Rufo and David French on Critical Race Theory. Apparently, Andrew has too much free time and not enough things to be mad at. But it inspired part 3 on Critical Race Theory and what the likely next Pokemon evolution of the moral panic will be. Links: The Argument of “Afropessimism”, The Political Economy of Reparations, Black Nihilism and the Politics of Hope, Idaho HOUSE BILL NO.377, AZ HOUSE BILL 2898, AG Knudsen Issues Binding Opinion on Critical Race Theory, SC Bill H.4100

    OA510: Liberty University Punished Women Who Reported Sexual Assaults, According to Complaint

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 69:21

    The main segment of today's show is what is known in the industry as a huge bummer. Liberty University is facing a lawsuit filed by 12 women who allege that they were sexually assaulted, and that their assault was handled horribly by the University. They also allege that Liberty's code of conduct made it more likely that they would be assaulted. It's grim, but it's a necessary story to cover and Andrew has the full legal breakdown for us. In our first segment, we hear from some people who are on the ground at the Texas legislature. Links: Abbott vetoes funding, The Liberty Way, lawsuit against Liberty University, 20 U.S. Code Chapter 38, John ED Larkin, 18 US Code § 2255

    OA509: Kraken Lawyers Get Full Dressing Down; the Cosby Release is EVEN MORE Worse

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021 84:31

    I'm going to go ahead and say this sanctions hearing was the most popular one in the history of law. It was so good, expect it on a future Law'd Great Sanctions Hearings, available on Patreon! Andrew breaks down some highlights here and lays out what we can expect to actually happen. Then, it's the Cosby case revelation Andrew has teased for weeks. Why is that entire saga even more worse than we originally said? Find out. Links: the hearing, multiple sanctions requests by... everyone, Rule 11, Emily P. Newman - Lawyer working to suppress legally cast votes, Lin Wood in Delaware case, Wood needs sanctions on top of sanctions, Campbell motion to release video, Rule 413, Cosby opinion, Cosby civil suit docket, motion for sanctions, Cosby motion to strike, response, forgotten until 10 yrs, Rule 5.1.5, AP renews motion, granted

    OA508: Texas Democrats Flee the State to Stop Republican Voter Suppression Bill

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2021 73:40

    Don't mess with Texas Democrats! Governor Abbott called an emergency session, not to fix the failing power grid or anything else important, but to ban knowledge and to restrict voting. Texas Democrats are not having it. They're playing the kind of hardball many of us have been thirsty for in this era. Andrew explains the situation and why it's a very good strategy. Then, Andrew does a victory lap for his accurate predictions in the hilarious lawsuit filed by Roy Moore against Sacha Baron Cohen! Links: 2021 Texas legislative session,  Texas House faces deadline, Anti-trans bill, Abbott 87th Special Session Agenda, Bill Text: TX SB3, Texas House Rules, Ep. 3 Official Clip | Who Is America?, case dismissed, Moore waiver agreement

    OA507: Who Knows What Evil Right Wing Judicial Activism Lurks in the Heart of the Supreme Court? The Shadow Docket Knows...

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2021 76:53

    We are still not done telling you how bad this Supreme Court is. One thing that may help make sense of why this court is portrayed as more centrist than it is is their use of the shadow docket. So, Listener Thomas S. asks, what is a shadow docket? Do you have to fight shadow Link there? Or maybe shadow John Roberts? What cases are moving through the shadow docket and how right wing are these results? Andrew breaks it down. Then, case that has been requested by so many of you! A comic book store is suing a hotel, and they submitted a complaint partially in.... COMIC BOOK FORM! Is that legal? How will it be recieved? Listen and find out! Links: the Knight case, Third Planet Sci-Fi and Fantasy Superstore v. ASDN Houston, Rule 12. Defenses and Objections, Rule 91 - Special Exceptions, Tex. R. Civ. P. 91

    OA506: Trump's Desperate, Harebrained Lawsuit Is Garbage and Deserves Sanctions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 69:16

    And while we're on the topic of sanctions, Rudy Giuliani can no longer practice law ANYWHERE for the time being, and the Kraken lawyers are all set to receive their sanctions as well. Turns out there are consequences for lying your ass off in official court filings, if you do it long enough. So listen in for a detailed breakdown of some truly terrible lawyering! Links: Rudy suspended in DC, DC Rule XI. Disciplinary Proceedings, where to listen to the sanctions hearing, Detroit sanctions motion, Trump sues Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Save the Constitution From Big Tech - WSJ, Yale Professor Jed Rubenfeld Suspended for Sexual Harassment

    OA505: The Supreme Court Is a Partisan Instrument of Destruction on Behalf of the Republican Party and We're Going to Keep Telling You This Until the Media Stops Raving About How Centrist John Roberts Is

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2021 71:51

    This easily breaks the record for longest show title. But seriously, we're fed up with this bogus Supreme Court coverage. In our main segment, Andrew has the full breakdown of Brnovich and just how terrible it is for voting rights, AND how much Alito and the conservatives are legislating from the bench. They are simply overwriting laws they don't like to accomplish right wing goals. This is pretty much an Andrew Was Right show, as the first segment is all about the Florida social media law being enjoined exactly the f how Andrew predicted. Then, to make us all feel better, we read some really great listener mail! Trust me, you won't want to miss it. It's delightful! Links: FL SB 7072, injunction

    OA504: Cosby Released in Nonsense Ruling

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2021 73:35

    Purely speaking in legal terms, the Cosby release is even WORSE than you have likely heard. It's a complicated breakdown, but that's what Andrew is best at! Listen in to understand just how bewildering this ruling was. After that, Andrew gives us a very quick take on the Trump Org indictments. Links: Cosby opinion, Saylor dissent, Section 3125 - Title 18, Rule 404 - Character Evidence, Commonwealth v. Stipetich

    OA503: Finally! Consequences for Rudy Giuliani

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2021 75:52

    If you've listened to this show long enough, you know that it is seemingly impossible to be dishonest and corrupt enough for the Bar to do something about it. Well, Rudy Giuliani found a way. The NY bar has slapped him down in a way that our esteemed Andrew Torrez has never seen before. Also, we've got an update on how Christian Healthshare Ministries are STILL a scam. Then, we talk about Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, in which the Court badly mangles eminent domain. Having just heard our deep dive in episode 500, you'll be able to spot how terrible this decision is as well! And, Andrew was right on Mahanoy v. BL!

    OA502: Why Critical Race Theory is Indispensable

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 74:13

    This is a continuation of Episode 501's exploration of a rather arcane bit of legal jurisprudence that has somehow become the target du jour of the right wing, from Matt Gaetz to Newsmax to... well, Matt Gaetz again. That's right, it's an explanation of what critical race theory actually is, and whether it should be banned. (Hint: no) In this episode, you'll learn more about the definitely NOT Marxist postmodern critique of language and legal textbooks, including an in-depth discussion of a case you probably have never heard of -- Johnson & Graham's Lessee v. M'Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823). And if you have heard of the case, then a) you're probably a lawyer or law student, and b) you should thank a critical legal studies theorist! We'll also get in depth with two of the founders of the CRT movement, Mari Matsuda and Kimberle Crenshaw. Learn what their unique contributions to legal scholarship were and are, and decide for yourself whether this is too dangerous for grad students to even read. Finally, we'll delve back into the one-man astroturf unit that is Christopher F. Rufo and learn how he's deliberately misleading everyone about what CRT is in order to stoke a moral panic. This is an episode you don't want to miss & might want to share even with your Uncle Frank! Finally, we do an Andrew Was Wrong on Arrow's Theorem as math professors rise up and storm our studio. Links We first discussed CRT in Episode 501; go check that out if you haven't yet. Andrew definitively stated that he was not a CRT theorist & believed there are right answers in the law in Episode 477 critiquing originalism. Florida's latest law is HB 233 on "intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity," which kind of contradicts the whole banning CRT thing. Check out Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic's "Rodrigo's Reappraisal" (2021). You can read Johnson & Graham's Lessee v. M'Intosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823) for yourself. The Rufo timeline we mentioned was published in the Wall Street Journal, and you can check out the text of Trump's executive order here. You can also read his garbage article in the NY Post... you know what? I'm not going to link that. He's terrible. You should definitely read Mari Matsuda's Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim's Story (1989) and Kimberle Crenshaw's Mapping the Margins:  Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color from the 1991 Stanford Law Review. Finally, I would also recommend reading Aya Gruber's "Against Carceral Feminism" (2021). Appearances None! Have us on! -Support us on Patreon at: –Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos! -Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs -Facebook:, and don't forget the OA Facebook Community! -For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki -And finally, remember that you can email us at!

    OA501: Critical Legal Studies and Critical Race Theory

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2021 77:38

    If you've heard the buzz about Critical Race Theory lately, you... probably have absolutely no idea what it actually is because the people who have already passed laws in several states banning it don't even know. But if you've heard an informed person talk about it, you may have heard that it has its roots in the law. Well then, what better place to give you a deep dive than on a law show! So what is Critical Legal Studies? How did it pave the way for Critical Race Theory? OA is on the case! Links: Why are states lining up to ban critical race theory?, The Wedge Document, Critical Race Theory Briefing Book, Florida's New Law, Helms Stalls King's Day In Senate, Marxism, Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism, Postmodernism, The Bridge: Critical Theory: CLS Movement, The skin trade Posner review

    OA500B: Bonus! Terrible Supreme Court Rulings; Machin's New Conditions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2021 62:27

    It's bonus OA!!! Andrew takes us through whatever the hell Manchin is trying to do with Republicans, then breaks down two Supreme Court rulings for us. Spoiler: they're terrible. Links: For the People Act of 2021, 19-123 Fulton v. Philadelphia, California v. Texas

    OA500: Eminent Domain!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2021 70:46

    500!!!! WOOOOOOO! It's time for the deep-dive we've been putting off for 5 years. Eminent domain! Links: Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp, Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, Murr v. Wisconsin, 2017, Kelo v. City of New London, Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, Pfizer To Close New London Headquarters

    OA499: Mo Brooks Gets Served By Swalwell

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2021 74:03

    ... and then goes on unhinged Twitter rant full of bad law! We're here to break down just how obviously spurious his allegations are. Then, we address the tremendous amount of feedback we got on Christian Health Sharing Ministries. Some listeners tried to defend them, or at least claimed they got out ahead. Was Andrew wrong? Are they not a scam? Find out! Links: Institute for Christian Conciliation, Access to ICC Guidelines and Rules of Procedure, Commercial Arbitration Rules, weird handbook, cost of uncovered pregnancy, Rule 5. Serving and Filing Pleadings, return affidavit, Mo Brooks raising campaign funds off wife getting served, Alabama Section 13A-7-2, 6-5-262, Rule 4. Summons

    OA498: The Garland DoJ Coverage is Completely Wrong

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2021 71:57

    This episode is exactly why this show exists. Two stories about Merrick Garland's DoJ came out recently that gave the strong impression that Garland was defending Trump policies and even joining forces with religious bigots against LGBTQ rights. These stories are COMPLETELY misleading. As always with complicated legal stories, the truth faces a steep, uphill battle. Come along as Andrew explains why Garland is doing exactly what he should be, and would be doing even under a Bernie Sanders administration. In the first segment, we discuss the Women's Health Protection Act. Can it save us from the Supreme Court overturning Roe? Find out! Links: Manchin abortion record, Murkowski abortion record, 28 US Code § 2679 Westfall Act, Barr's first brief, E. Jean Carroll's response, CAIR v. Ballenger, 444 F.3d 659 (2006), DOJ Updates Filing, 20 US Code § 1681, Attorney General's Duty to Defend, The Indefensible Duty to Defend, Alliance defending freedom motion to intervene

    OA497: Christian Health Sharing Is a Scam

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2021 75:07

    Andrew stumbled across a Marketwatch article that recommended a Christian Health Sharing company to save money on health insurance. Due to this being a complete scam, Andrew was sent on a Liam Neeson-esque crusade. Let's just say he has a certain set of skills involving documents and research and deep-diving... Listen and find out why this is a scam, and why it still persists and is in fact being incentivized by our government! Yes the Biden one still! Whatever your belief system, PLEASE don't let yourself or anyone you know be taken in by this scam! Links: dumb Marketwatch article, Membership for Health Sharing Ministries Soars, Healthcare Sharing Ministries: Read the Fine Print, Buzzfeed coverage, Member Requirements, § 1501(d)(2)(B), 2016 IRS ruling, Trump EO 13877, 85 FR 35398, 26 CFR Part 1 - INCOME TAXES, NYT coverage

    OA496: Stanford Law Forgets How Law Works

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2021 64:18

    First story on today's show is the Chauvin motion for downward departure. The Judge said up to 30 years, Chauvin countered with " about a firm talking-to?" Andrew breaks down the (mostly terrible) arguments. Then, we talk about a conservative cancel culture story – a Stanford Law student put up an obviously satirical and hilarious flier roasting the Federalist Society and then was punished by the school. Listen for the details and some history on campus free speech! Links: The First Amendment Encyclopedia, Campus Hate Speech Codes, California Education Code § 94367, Corry v. Stanford, Stanford Flyer, Fed Society Complaint

    OA495: Mr. Fish Goes to Washington

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2021 76:17

    Today we have special guest Nick Fish, president of American Atheists! He recently attended a meeting with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Is this administration doing a better job representing the millions of non-believers in the country? Find out! In the first segment, we discuss Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., the free speech case you may have heard about on The Daily. Andrew gives us a more complete breakdown and offers a prediction as to how the ruling will go! Links: Tinker v. Des Moines, Hazelwood Indep. School Dist. v. Kuhlmeier, Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, BL v. Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist., 964 F.3d 170, Mahanoy Area School District v. BL oral arguments, Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships EO

    OA494: Florida's Pointless, Unconstitutional Social Media Law

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2021 73:38

    I know I say this a lot but... this episode is action packed! So much good stuff to discuss that we had to squeeze in the Trump grand jury news into the announcements slot. Andrew breaks down what it means and what to expect. Then, a listener who actually worked on the NRA case wrote in to give us the final word on Sea Girt. But in our main segment, Andrew gives us the full breakdown on the asinine social media law Florida just passed. Eyes, look your last, because this thing is destined for the trash bin. Find out why! Then, we squeezed in a wildcard segment, if you can believe it. Did Alan Dershowitz win a defamation case against CNN? (no) Links: NRA Annual Matches Move To Sea Girt In 1892, 28 US Code § 1408, FL social media law, 47 U.S. Code § 230, Dershowitz v. CNN Order on MTD

    OA493: Is Fox News Guilty of Defamation? We Report, You Decide!

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2021 75:34

    Today Andrew breaks down Fox's motion to dismiss the Dominion lawsuit. Dominion has mountains of evidence of defamation. Fox... disagREES. Find out how their defense holds up! We also talk about the surprisingly high number of delightful emails we got about Seagirt from Australians. And finally an Andrew was slightly wrong about some Asbestos bankruptcy stuff! Links: Dominion complaint, Fox motion to dismiss, NY CPLR Rule 3211, Coomer Colorado lawsuit, Newsmax retraction, another Newsmax retraction, Newsmax Withdraws False Claims About 2020 Election, Powell motion to dismiss, Dominion response

    OA492: Court Locks Mississippi Citizens Out of Amending Their Own Constitution

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2021 68:28

    This is not a misleading clickbait headline, this is literally what happened. Mississippi citizens passed a medical marijuana amendment and textualist conservative judges overruled it with a reading of the law so asinine that it rendered constitutional amendments by citizens impossible going forward. You have to hear the breakdown to even believe it. In the second segment, Andrew delivers some more real bad news out of the US Supreme Court. You likely heard about the abortion case, but Edwards v. Vannoy is a decision you didn't hear about that does not bode well.

    OA491: Letitia James – Kicking Ass and Taking Names

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2021 69:16

    And two of those names are: Jacob Wohl and the NRA! It's a consequences show! While consequences might be an endangered species these days, Tish James shows us that species still has teeth. You may know Jacob Wohl as that right wing troll who absolutely should be in jail right now for any number of things, like fabricating blackmail material against Elizabeth Warren, for example. He's in big trouble for yet another criminally awful plot. Then, Andrew breaks down the recent bankruptcy decision regarding the NRA, and why it's bad news for them and good news for not them. Links: KKK act v Wohl, court order denying stay, James motion to intervene Wohl, Wohl opposing intervention, OA410: NY AG Files to Dissolve the NRA!, Order dismissing NRA bankruptcy

    OA490: Chauvin Sentencing – Four Aggravating Factors

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2021 63:59

    Big updates in the Derek Chauvin case! First, the judge found four aggravating factors. This is what Andrew predicted, but not exactly the same four! Also, one of the other officers in the case has filed a motion alleging witness coercion. We break down what this means, and how worried we should be. In our first segment, we answer an excellent patron question about an old OA episode: What ever happened to the Arlene's Flowers case? We discussed it back on OA180, and Andrew Seidel made a prediction that held up very well. Finally, has been fixed, and a listener gives us great info about Census Blocks! Links: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, Docket for 17-108, Arlene's Flowers Remand, Thao motion, Federal indictments for all 4 cops, 18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law, Former Md. medical examiner's testimony for Chauvin defense leads to call for review of past cases, MINNESOTA SENTENCING GUIDELINES, Aggravating factors filing Appearances None. Have us on! -Support us on Patreon at: -Subscribe to the YouTube Channel and share our videos! -Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs -Facebook:, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community! -For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki -And finally, remember that you can email us at!

    OA489: Transformers and Intellectual Property

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2021 78:24

    Andrew is giggling like a school child right now as we present the deep-dive you didn't know you needed! It's robots (not quite Transformers) and some really intricate IP law! It also involves Italian Trump! Before that, we have a correction on trademarking numbers, and some mini-dive into an Ugg lawsuit! Links: Ugg Lawsuit final order, 15 US Code § 1117 - Recovery for violation of rights, USD287037S - Changeable robot toy, 2003 Court Tokyo High Court Case, 2017 Arbitration, Macross Sequels and Films To Be Released Worldwide

    OA488: A New Trial for Chauvin?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 7, 2021 65:21

    You may have seen some alarming headlines about Chauvin's lawyers asking for a new trial over a juror being at a BLM rally, but do those alarming headlines hold up? Should we be concerned? Andrew has the full breakdown! Before that, we tackle a very interesting component of the census called the "differential privacy" method, and why it's the subject of a new lawsuit.

    OA487: How To Overturn Citizens United

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2021 76:57

    All-star Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is at it again! In a Judiciary subcommittee meeting, Whitehouse laid out the groundwork for how a future Supreme Court could overturn Citizens United and Shelby County v. Holder. These are two atrocious decisions that would make even the Andrewest judge lament stare decisis, but today's episode explains how a court could overturn them without doing damage to court legitimacy going forward! (if you're into that kind of thing...) Before that, Andrew breaks down SCOTUS granting cert in the NYS Rifle & Pistol Assn v Corlett. Then, we tackle a listener email claiming we badly misrepresented defense attorneys in last Tuesday's show. Links: NY State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n. v. City of New York, N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(f), Supreme Court of the United States opp brief, 2nd Circuit NY State Rifle & Pistol Ass'n v. Beach, Cert Peition, Cert granted, Supreme Court Fact-Finding and the Distortion of American Democracy, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Citizens United, Civil Service Commission v. Nat’l Assn of Letter Carriers,

    OA486: Apportionment Might NOT Be Final

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2021 70:07

    You all probably heard by now that NY lost a House seat by 89 people... But did they? Andrew argues that this has been misreported. Find out why! Along the way, find out way more than you ever wanted to about the math and Al Gore Rhythms behind apportionment! Also, Rudy Giuliani had some things taken in what shouldn't be called a "raid." Couldn't' have happened to a nicer obvious criminal! Then we answer some feedback on the previous episode, OA485: What If Your Client Tells You They’re Guilty? Links: OA307: Apportionment - The Census Fight Is Not Over, NPR 2020 Census Results, 13 US Code § 141 - Population and other census information, Executive Order on the Census, 2020 Census Apportionment Results, 2 U.S. Code § 2b, Method of Equal Proportions, Reapportionment Under the 1950 Census, "Computing Apportionment," US Census Bureau, Model Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal

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