Strict Scrutiny

Strict Scrutiny, a project of The Appeal, is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.

But it’s more than that.

The people who have been considered SCOTUS “experts” have frequently played to a particular type.  They’re often men.  They’re often DC insiders. And their reflections on the Court are often framed in super serious terms.

That’s where we come in.  We’re not your average SCOTUS commentators.  Yes, we’re three law professors.  And yes, we might be getting older (even though we’re young at heart).

But we’re also swimmers, mothers (of humans and dogs), and celebrity gossip enthusiasts.  We’re three women who practice before and write about the Court in our professional lives. We have a different voice–one that celebrates the contributions and opinions of women and people of color.  We want to provide intelligent and in-depth legal analysis alongside our unvarnished, respectfully irreverent takes. And we want to do it in a way that is accessible to a variety of listeners, including Supreme Court regulars, lawyers just dipping a toe into the appellate world, law students, and members of the public who are looking for a window into the Court’s decisions, as well as its culture, personalities, and folkways.

We think SCOTUS is serious business—but we don’t take ourselves or the Court too seriously. We’ve got hot takes, jokes, and a lot to say.

So we’re going to say it.  Buckle up.

Season 2

Normal Scrutiny

Leah and Melissa are joined by the first repeat guest on Strict Scrutiny, Elie Mystal, to discuss his recent column about Democratic leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee. They also provide some dramatic readings and reenactments of some of the hearings and filings from the (poorly run) coup attempt.

melissa murray, elie mystal, leah litman

Big Whiteboard Energy

It’s the episode you’ve been waiting for – our breakdown of Justice Alito’s keynote speech at the Federalist Society convention. And as our guest, we have the Senator living rent free in Justice Alito’s head – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who gets his own Strict Scrutiny nickname in this episode!

melissa murray, sheldon whitehouse, kate shaw, leah litman

Call For Filings!

Send us your favorite, crazy election law filings from this cycle. And we’ll do a dramatic reading!

Unfeathered Discretion

Leah and Melissa preview the first week of the December sitting and recap a lot of Supreme Court and Supreme Court adjacent news about turkeys, COVID, and more.

melissa murray, leah litman

Cute as a Button

Leah and Melissa and Kate are joined by Meera Deo, Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation, and author of Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford U Press 2019).

kate shaw, leah litman, Meera Deo

Vice Signaling

Leah and Kate are joined by Marin Levy to recap the Affordable Care Act argument and … wonder about the role of lawyers in contributing to the demise of democracy.

marin levy, kate shaw, leah litman

Unlawful Generally

Kate and Leah break down the first week of arguments from the November sitting, as well as some developments on the Court’s shadow docket.

kate shaw, leah litman

Yes, Virginia

Leah, Melissa, and Kate take a virtual road trip to UVA Law to dish on the upcoming November sitting with the hosts of the Common Law podcast, Dean Risa Goluboff and Professor Leslie Kendrick.

melissa murray, leslie kendrick, kate shaw, risa goluboff, leah litman

Hot Mess

Leah, Melissa, and Kate, discuss some recent activity on the Court’s “shadow docket” related to the election. Oh, and the fact that we have a new Supreme Court Justice.

melissa murray, kate shaw, leah litman

Big Dog Energy

Leah, Melissa, and Kate discuss some of the highlights of the October sitting, as well as the conclusion of the Barrett confirmation hearings.

melissa murray, kate shaw, leah litman

Not A Mystery

Leah and Kate recap the first three days of the confirmation hearings so you don’t have to actually listen to them.

kate shaw, leah litman

The Red Death

Leah and Melissa recap the first week of the October sitting, as well as all of the beginning of term developments on the Court’s docket, orders list, and so much more.

melissa murray, leah litman

Fire Season

Leah, Melissa, and Kate bring their A+ Zoom game to NYU School of Law for a live-ish preview of the upcoming SCOTUS term.

melissa murray, kate shaw, leah litman

For more episodes including Season 1, visit Simplecast or Apple Podcasts