Notorious Podcast

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a major force in American jurisprudence. Her decisions and dissents offer a thoughtful and rigorous legal analysis, and demonstrate her ongoing commitment to gender equality and equal justice for all. To honor her life and storied work, Patterson Belknap is proud to present “Notorious: The Legal Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” a podcast exploring the late Justice’s cases, decisions, and dissents, and her impact on the rule of law in the United States.

Hosted by Patterson Belknap Partner Michelle M. Bufano, and sponsored by Women Lawyers at Patterson, each episode of “Notorious” will include an in-depth discussion of one of Justice Ginsburg’s decisions or dissents, as well as the relevant historical context, and will feature Patterson Belknap lawyers with invited guests.

The opinions expressed on this podcast are the opinions of the individual speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the Firm.

Episode 5: RBG, Justice Marshall and the Death Penalty (Part 2)

In Season 3, Episode 5 of Notorious, we continue to discuss the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment – from Justice Marshall’s viewpoint, as well as Justice Ginsburg’s viewpoint.  This topic is broken up into two episodes, with Episode 5 focusing mostly on Justice Ginsburg’s views and how those views intersect with those of Justice Marshall.


Season 3: Episode 3: Justice Ginsburg and Justice Marshall’s Views on Campaign Finance

In Season 3, Episode 3 of Notorious, we discuss campaign finance, from legal viewpoints of Justices Ginsburg and Marshall. Among the issues discussed are what it means to participate in a fair and free election and the intersection between money and its impact on free speech during a political campaign. 


Season 3: Episode 2: Justice Marshall & Justice Ginsburg First Amendment Jurisprudence

In Season 3, Episode 2 of Notorious, we discuss the First Amendment and how it was addressed by Justice Ginsburg and Justice Marshall. Specifically, this episode will cover Justice Ginsburg’s and Justice Marshall’s jurisprudence concerning the religious clauses of the First Amendment, including the Establish Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. 


Season 3: Episode 1: Justice Marshall & Justice Ginsburg’s Judicial Philosophies

In Season 3, Episode 1 of Notorious, we discuss Justice Thurgood Marshall’s and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, and parallels and differences between their legal and judicial strategies. Guests will include Judge Joseph A. Greenway Jr., who currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and previously sat on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; Gregory L. Diskant, Patterson Belknap Of Counsel and former judicial clerk to Justice Marshall; Patterson Belknap Partner Michelle M. Bufano; and Patterson Belknap Associate Mariana Múnera-Keating.


Season 2: Episode 6: 2020-2021 Supreme Court Term

In Season 2, Episode 6 of Notorious, we discuss the 2020-2021 Supreme Court Term and look back at specific cases and instances where Justice Ginsburg’s influence is still alive and well. Specifically, we discuss the cases, FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Coalition for Men v. Selective Service System, Tanzin v. Tanvir, and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.


Season 2: Episode 5: A Discussion of Ricci v. DeStefano

In Season 2, Episode 5 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Ricci v. DeStefano, which involved the question of whether the city of New Haven, Connecticut violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it rejected the results of a civil service exam given to firefighters. The results of the exam showed that white candidates had out-performed minority candidates and the question was raised as to whether the exam was discriminatory.


Season 2: Episode 2: A Discussion of Gonzales v. Carhart

In Season 2, Episode 2 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Gonzales v. Carhart which involved the Supreme Court’s consideration of the constitutionality of The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (“the Act”). In 2003, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Act into law. Dr. LeRoy Carhart and other physicians, who performed late term abortions, sued to stop the Act from going into effect. A federal district court agreed and ruled the Act unconstitutional. The government appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which upheld the lower court’s ruling.


Season 2: Episode 1: A Discussion of Justice Ginsburg’s Influence on Overcriminalization

In Season 2, Episode 1 of Notorious, we explore Justice Ginsburg’s influence on overcriminalization in our justice system. Specifically, we discuss the broad statutes passed by Congress, the latitude afforded to prosecutors under these statutes, judicial interpretations of the law and the possibility that strict literalism in interpretation can lead to unintended results.


Announcing Season 2: Notorious: The Legal Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We’re back, with a new season of Notorious, continuing our discussions of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s notable decisions and dissents. Season Two will air for six consecutive days beginning Monday, September 13th, with our final episode airing on Saturday, September 18th—the one year anniversary of Justice Ginsburg’s passing.


Episode 12: Reproductive Freedom: A Discussion of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Featuring guest speaker, Mai Ratakonda of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

In Episode 12 of Notorious, we discussed the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which addressed issues related to reproductive freedom.

At issue was a Texas Law that placed restrictions on physicians and facilities performing abortions. As a result, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether the provisions violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. 


Episode 10: A Tale of “Hanging Chads”: A Discussion of Bush v. Gore

Featuring Guest Speaker, Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California, Irvine. 

In Episode 10 of Notorious, we discussed the case of Bush v. Gore, which involved one of the closest presidential elections in United States history at that time. This case concerned the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. After Gore won the popular vote, the election’s outcome was contingent upon Florida and its twenty-five electoral votes. After Gore requested a recount of votes, the Florida Supreme Court held that the recount procedures were constitutional.


Episode 8: No Ordinary Piece of Cake: A Discussion of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. Civil Rights Comm’n

In Episode 8 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The U.S. Supreme Court addressed whether the actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC), under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, in assessing a cakeshop owner’s reasons for declining to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration, violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


Episode 7: “The Ballot is Stronger than the Bullet”1: A Discussion of Shelby County v. Holder

Featuring guest speakers, Kerry AbramsGuy-Uriel Charles, and Neil Siegel of Duke University School of Law. 

In Episode 7 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Shelby County v. Holder.  The U.S. Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The provisions at issue were Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments to receive federal preclearance prior to implementing changes to their voting laws or practices; and Section 4(b), which provides the coverage formula for determining which state and local governments are subjected to preclearance due to histories of discrimination in voting.


Episode 6: Let’s Get Personal: A Discussion of Daimler v. Bauman

Featuring guest speaker, the Honorable Helen E. Freedman (Ret.), who served 36 years on the New York State Court bench. 

In Episode 6 of Notorious, we discuss the case of Daimler A.G. v. Bauman. This case addressed the issue of personal jurisdiction.  A German corporation, Daimler A.G., was being sued in California federal court for injuries allegedly caused by Daimler’s conduct that took place entirely outside the United States.


Episode 5: Finding Religion in Unexpected Places: A Discussion of the Establishment Clause

Featuring guest speaker, Sandra S. Baron, Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.

In Episode 5 of Notorious, we mix up the format a bit and discuss the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in the context of several cases.  No issue under the Establishment Clause reached the U.S. Supreme Court until 1947.  Thus, our discussion starts with Everson v. Board of Education, a landmark decision that applied the Establishment Clause in the country's Bill of Rights to state law.  We conclude with an analysis Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the 2019 case of American Legion v. American Humanist Association.


Episode 3: Underneath the Corporate Veil: A Discussion of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Featuring guest speaker, Lindsey Kaley of the American Civil Liberties Union.

In Episode 3 of Notorious, we address the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Decided in 2014, Hobby Lobby addressed the contraceptive requirement in a regulation adopted in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby, and other closely held corporations, argued that the requirement was unconstitutional because it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

A 5-4 majority of the United States Supreme Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Alito, struck down the contraceptive requirement. The Court found that closely held for profit corporations are exempt from a regulation that its owners objected to based on the ground of religious freedom.  In so holding, the Court determined that there was a less restrictive means of furthering the government’s interest in providing universal contraception. 


Episode 2: With Equality, A Glorious Asset: A Discussion of United States v. Virginia

Featuring guest speaker, Galen Sherwin of the American Civil Liberties Union

In the second episode of Notorious, we discuss the 1996 case of United States v. Virginia, also known as the VMI case.  This case, like Reed v. Reed from Episode 1, addressed the issue of gender equality under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The majority opinion, written by Justice Ginsburg, reviewed the policy under a heightened scrutiny judicial standard and struck down the all-male admissions policy at the Virginia Military Institute (“VMI”).


Episode 1: In the Beginning . . . A Discussion of Reed v. Reed

Featuring guest speaker, Corey Brettschneider, a professor at Brown University and editor of Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection

In this inaugural episode of Notorious: The Legal Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we discuss the 1971 case of Reed v. Reed. The case addressed an Idaho statute, which favored males over females as administrators of estates. Petitioner Sally Reed sought to be named administrator of her deceased son’s estate in lieu of her estranged husband. The brief on behalf of Sally Reed was co-authored by then Rutgers Law School Professor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others.