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All About Strict Scrutiny Podcast Examining Constitutional Law And The Supreme Court's Decisions


All About Strict Scrutiny Podcast: Examining Constitutional Law And The Supreme Court’s Decisions

The Creators Behind the Podcast

The Strict Scrutiny podcast was first launched in July 2019 as a way to bring more awareness to the intricacies of the Supreme Court of America and how it is working to pass key legislation that impacts citizens across the country. The show is hosted by a trio of professional lawyers known as Leah Litman, Melissa Murray, and Kate Shaw. 

Litman is best known for her work at the prestigious University of Michigan Law School, where she acts as an Assistant Professor. Murray and Shaw also work in similar circles acting at the New York University School of Law and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law respectively.

Originally, the show included a fourth host, Jaime Santos, who is an acclaimed appellate lawyer. Santos left the podcast pretty early on in its history and is not usually referenced in its later episodes. 

All About Strict Scrutiny Podcast: Examining Constitutional Law And The Supreme Court's Decisions

Themes and Topics Covered

Each week, this group of intelligent lawyers unpacks the nuances of America’s political and legal systems so that they can be better understood by the assortment of loyal fans. Each episode focuses on a new set of current events such as legislation surrounding same-sex marriage and how multiple bodies are working together to influence a decision. This episode also relies on the work of Sasha Issenberg, a journalist and political science professor from UCLA, who refers to his popular book and how it can educate others on this long political and cultural struggle.

The hosts also discuss how popular culture influences our legislation practices, particularly the Google vs Gonzalez case, which occurred in February 2023. The lawyers open up a discussion as to whether this case will actually change the foundations of the internet or whether tech giants will still lack accountability for their platforms. Alongside this open talk, the hosts also work to recap the discussions that occurred throughout the court to give their audience more insight into a range of key concepts. 

As this podcast is known for its tongue-in-cheek manner, it also releases a bonus episode when the ladies feel that the SCOTUS has revoked one of their basic rights. For example, the lawyers produced an additional episode when the court declared that the constitutional right to carry a gun extends beyond the confines of a person’s home. Though the hosts offer their own opinion on the matter, they successfully show both sides of the story, highlighting their ability to hold a fair and expressive conversation at all times. 

All About Strict Scrutiny Podcast: Examining Constitutional Law And The Supreme Court's Decisions

Reach of the Strict Scrutiny Podcast

Together with its immense success on streaming platforms, the Strict Scrutiny podcast has also seen an abundance of acclaim on social media. On Instagram, the podcast collates an impressive 4498 followers and posts a bustling variety of pictures, Reels, and videos for its fans to enjoy. 

The hosts themselves are also popular on social media, each of which uses their platforms to inform their audience of updates from the show. Leah Litman has a very bustling Twitter profile with 72.1K followers, which she uses to express information about upcoming trials as well as more detail about her professional achievements. Melissa Murray also follows in her co-host’s footsteps, posting a variety of personal photos and infographics for her 7323 followers on Instagram. Finally, Kate Shaw also uses Instagram to keep her 6046 followers up to date with her personal life as well as interesting current affairs. 

The Format of the Podcast

Each episode of the Strict Scrutiny podcast lasts for around an hour, giving the hosts more than enough time to explore a range of contemporary topics in full. The podcast also pulls upon the knowledge of other experts to give the entire show a more comprehensive overview of the inner workings of the Supreme Court. In January 2022, the team created a bonus crossover episode with Chris Hayes, the host of the Why is This Happening Podcast. Hayes is also married to Kate Shaw, giving the entire episode a much more personal feel. 

The group also invited UVA Law Graduate Mark Moran to the show. Moran is best known for appearing on the reality show FBoy Island and uses his time on the show to discuss the similarities between law school and reality television and how the latter has actually helped to boost his career. The hosts also express the reality of attending law school with the hopes of educating other avid students on the process.  

Occasionally, the hosts produce emergency podcasts, which are shorter episodes that aim to untangle the confusion surrounding a collection of high-profile cases. In September 2021, the lawyers came together to pick apart Texas SB8, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in America’s history. Despite its name, the team works to destress the situation and focus on the facts as a way to both soothe and further educate their audience. 

All About Strict Scrutiny Podcast: Examining Constitutional Law And The Supreme Court's Decisions

Reception and Impact

Due to the hosts’ intelligent and inspiring nature, the Strict Scrutiny podcast has helped to positively impact a collection of diverse audiences. In January 2023, it was nominated for an Ambie Award for the Best Politics or Opinion Podcast. This exemplifies its power over such a competitive niche and how it can influence and educate a wide variety of viewers. 

The hosts also appear on a range of other podcasts, sharing their knowledge and expertise with other prolific figures. In June 2022, the ladies prepared a special episode for Pod Save America, a vast podcast hosted by a collection of former aides for President Barack Obama. In this episode, the trio discusses the intricacies of the Roe vs Wade case, following the same themes and tone of Pod Save America without losing touch with their original characteristics. 

The Strict Scrutiny podcast highlights how many audience members are now looking toward this medium for political education, making it an incredibly competitive force against other forms of media such as television and print media. As such, we can assume that many listeners prefer to gain more information about their political landscapes from a collection of amicable podcast hosts. 

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Melody Day is a UK-based copywriter, working in developing industries such as travel, beauty, and lifestyle. She creates digestible copy that is fully optimized for SEO and gains positive engagement from readers. They are able to create engaging blogs and website copy for a range of unique brands.

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