Tennessee-Style Power Grabs are Coming to a State House Near You

The (racist) playbook when vote suppression and gerrymandering isn’t enough.


Episode Notes

On this week’s Amicus Dahlia Lithwick is first joined by Sherrilyn Ifill, former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to talk about Tennessee and the mounting evidence of Republican state houses and governors finding novel (but also depressingly old) ways to disenfranchise voters and subvert democracy. Ifill sounded the alarm about all of this in a prescient piece in Slate last month that deserves your attention.

Next, Dahlia is joined by Professor Stephen Vladeck on the opaque, unquestioned and largely unquestionable Supreme Court processes that undergird conservative contempt for the rule of law. Professor Vladeck’s book, The Shadow Docket - 

How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic is out in May.

In this week’s Amicus Plus segment, Dahlia is joined by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. There was, categorically, Too Much News this week, so Dahlia turned to Mark for an exclusive conversation for our Slate Plus members about all the stuff we couldn’t cram into an already jam-packed main show. They start with what’s really not happening, and that is Supreme Court decisions. It’s April and there has been a mere smattering of decisions from the High Court. Mark and Dahlia try to figure out what the looming logjam might mean. Next, they talk yacht etiquette, gift grift, and Justice Clarence Thomas’ law breaking. And… Hey! Remember Wisconsin? It’s a big deal - Mark and Dahlia delve into why. Finally, the Supreme Court may not be issuing decisions, but it did deny a petition to overturn a stay of West Virginia’s extreme trans athlete ban. Mark has more on that decision and the shortcomings of a new Biden regulation about trans athletes.

Dahlia’s book Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America, is also available as an audiobook, and Amicus listeners can get a 25 percent discount by entering the code “AMICUS” at checkout.

Cover of Lady Justice.
Penguin Random House

Lady Justice: Women, the Law and the Battle to Save America

The women who took on the Trump administration on behalf of democracy and won.

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About the Show

A show about the law and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America.

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