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Legal Context


  • "You Can't Play Jenga with Roe v. Wade": After Politico published Justice Alito’s leaked draft majority opinion on May 2, the Amicus podcast “take[s] stock of what’s happened, why it happened, and what might happen next, with a group of women with truly unparalleled insight into this moment in history.” This May 5 panel moderated by Dahlia Lithwick features journalist Jessica Bruder, legal scholar Melissa Murray, and editor Susan Matthews.

  • "What the SCOTUS leak could mean for abortion": Strict Scrutiny co-hosts Leah Litman, Kate Shaw and Melissa Murray discuss the leak in this emergency episode released the next day.



The Fourteenth Amendment

  • Conservative originalists argue that the Constitution has nothing to do with abortion. They’re wrong. On the contrary–the Fourteenth Amendment protects it. In "Reproductive Originalism: Why the Fourteenth Amendment's Original Meaning Protects the Right to Abortion," scholar David H. Gans illustrates how “the text and history of the Fourteenth Amendment protect the right to abortion as a fundamental constitutional right.” Published in SMU Law Review Forum and grounded in Gans’s experience as a constitutional litigator, the essay makes clear that the Court should reaffirm the right to abortion, not only due to decades of legal precedent but because it’s enshrined in the text itself. Read the full essay here.


  • Fundamental Rights Doublespeak. This episode of “Amicus,” Slate’s podcast “about the law and the nine Supreme Court Justices who interpret it for the rest of America,” dives into more detail about the Fourteenth Amendment and the Constitution’s guarantee of unenumerated rights. Hosted by Dahlia Lithwick, aired on 4/9/22. Start listening at the 4:25 mark for her interview with David H. Gans (which ends at 50:15). Listen here


Federal Level: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

On December 1, 2021, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. In short, the State of Mississippi has a law on the books banning on all elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and the Court’s job is to determine whether the ban is Constitutional. Spoiler alert: it’s not — but if they say it is, such a ruling would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade. The Court is expected to hand down a ruling by the end of this year’s term. Learn more by listening:


  • Justice on the Brink: Listen to Strict Scrutiny co-host Melissa Murray in conversation with Linda Greenhouse on her book Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months that Transformed the Supreme Court. In Melissa’s words, “Of course, one of the highlights of our conversation was recapping the Dobbs oral argument.” 4/11/22. Listen here.

  • Inside the Arguments: For a deeper dive into Dobbs v. Jackson, listen to Amicus host Dahlia Lithwick’s discussions with Julie Rikelman (who argued for reproductive freedom on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health) and Katherine Frank (who breaks down the conservative majority’s religious views bolstered the Dobbs proceedings). 12/4/21. Listen here.

  • Fourth Dimension: “Hosted by three women who talk about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it,” the Strict Scrutiny podcast is an excellent source of legal context. In this episode, the 3 co-hosts (Leah Litman, Kate Shaw and Melissa Murray) recap the Dobbs v. Jackson oral arguments. 12/1/21. Listen here.


State Level: Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Kentucky…

Republican-led states across the country are enacting abortion bans almost faster than we can update this website. We’ll add more podcasts to this list as they’re released. In the meantime, check out this New York Times article (4/14/22) for a summary of what’s happening.


  • Texas: Guest Commander Steve Vladeck, Professor of Law at University of Texas, discusses the impact of the Supreme Court’s response to Texas’s SB8 (which bans all abortions after 6 weeks). 12/10/21. Listen here.


This summer, the Slow Burn podcast "will investigate how we got Roe in the first place." Hosted by Slate's news director Susan Matthews, "this four-part series will tell forgotten stories from the years leading up to Roe." Listen to the trailer here.

Legal Context: Text
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