The Gist

Democracy’s Nightmare Scenario

Jonathan Last on the major risk to the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, Kelly Loeffler and Atilla the Hun.

In the interview, Jonathan V. Last, editor of the Bulwark, talks with Mike about his recent piece which forecasts that after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, America is moving one step closer to another political crisis. Last walks through some of the nightmare scenarios, particularly on the probability that a conservative justice is appointed, confirmed, and subsequently rules on the November election. Last explains that although he remains optimistic with regards to the legitimacy of the SCOTUS, he is ultimately losing faith that some voters care not for a system of governance that is capable of functioning competently.

In the spiel, remaining outraged as Trump repeats himself.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.