Supreme Court

Will Trump's Next SCOTUS Pick Be Able To Overturn Roe v. Wade?: Podcast

The short answer is no. The longer answer is maybe, a little at a time, and that's a problem. Plus, is 2018 turning into 1968, a year of high-profile violence?


Last week was a huge week for Supreme Court related news and on today's Reason Podcast, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, Damon Root (author of 2014's highly regarded Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court), and I work through the intricacies of Janus v. AFSCME and Carpenter v. United States and assess whether the rulings are wins or losses for liberty (both are wins!). Our regular host, Matt Welch, is on assignment covering the Libertarian Party National Convention in New Orleans.

We discuss whether Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of the month, was reliably libertarian during his decades on the bench (kind of) and whether his replacement will really be able to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is literally what Donald Trump promised when he was running for president. As a bonus, I put each of the panelists on the spot to say straight up whether they think abortion should be legal and under what circumstances. We also discuss the gruesome murder of five people at Annapolis's Capital Gazette and ponder if 2018 is starting to look a lot like 1968, the year of Reason's founding, when there was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air?

When it comes to sharing what we're reading, listening to, or watching, this week's recommendations are eclectic as hell and lead into a semi-tense discussion about whether aesthetics and ideology are linked. Suderman gives thumbs up to Kanye West's latest set of releases; Mangu-Ward admits she's reading Henry George's single-tax manifesto Progress and Poverty (it's for a conference, she says, when asked whether she's a believer!); Root, a teenage metalhead, cops to mourning the death of drummer Vinnie Paul by listening to Pantera's catalog; and I give a rave review to Be More Kind, the new album from libertarian post-punk Brit folkster Frank Turner, whom I properly describe as the Bizarro-world Billy Bragg (the guy has a tattoo of the Sumerian "amagi" and another commemorating the great English Leveller "Freeborn John" Lilburne!).

There's still time to register for the Reason Media Awards (tickets and more info here), which will be held this year at FreedomFest, the world's largest annual gathering of libertarians. It takes place in Las Vegas from July 10-14. (Tell them Reason sent you).

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

Relevant links from the show:

Janus v. AFSCME : Will Ending Mandatory Dues Kill Public-Sector Unions?: Podcast, Nick Gillespie

Justice Anthony Kennedy Is Retiring and All Hell Is About to Break Loose, Damon Root

Could Sen. Mike Lee Replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court?, Eric Boehm

Kennedy's Departure Probably Will Give Us a Court More Inclined to Defend Gun Rights, Jacob Sullum

Willett, Bolick, Sykes: Three Great Picks to Replace Anthony Kennedy: Podcast, Nick Gillespie and Damon Root

A Post-Roe World Would Pave the Way for a New Black Market in Abortion Pills, Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to "Travel Ban", Jonathan Adler

How a New SCOTUS Ruling on Abortion Could Permanently Alter Economic Regulation, Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Delaware's Odd, Beautiful, Contentious, Private Utopia, Jesse Walker

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