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SLU LAW Summations

The SLU LAW Summations podcast is a 15-30 minute dive into a diverse mix of legal topics. Each episode will explore a fresh legal matter with a member of the Saint Louis University School of Law faculty.

Host and Producer: Jessica Ciccone, Senior Director of Communications and Strategy
Assistant Producer: Edna Besic (3L)
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Full Episode Listing on Soundcloud

Kerry Ryan

Episode 55: Executive Powers, Immunity, and Implications from this SCOTUS Session

Profile photo of Anders Walker

In a watershed ruling regarding executive powers, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Trump v United States that presidents should be immune from prosecution for official actions they took while in office. While historically presidents have enjoyed some level of immunity, this ruling expands that greatly. To discuss this monumental ruling and the implications for the future of the presidency, we are joined by Professor Anders Walker. Professor Walker is an expert in constitutional law and American legal history.

Episode 54: The United States Supreme Court and the Post-Dobbs Decisions

Profile photo of Jamille Fields Allsbrook

Two years following the Dobbs decision, the country’s highest court is grappling with the aftereffects. This year the Supreme Court handed down two related cases regarding the use of mifepristone and the application of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act in states where abortions are banned. To discuss these cases, the implications, and we can expect in the future we are joined by Professor Jamille Fields Allsbrook. Professor Fields Allsbrook is a member of the Center for Health Law Studies faculty and focuses her research and scholarship on advancing gender and racial health equity. She was recently named a senior fellow for health justice at the National Partnership for Women & Families as well as a senior fellow for the Center for American Progress.

Episode 53: Trademarks, Trump, and the Supreme Court

Professor Yvette Liebesman

Each June delivers some high-profile decisions from the United States Supreme Court. One notable case this year is Vidal v Elster where the Court rejected an attempt to force the Patent and Trademark Office to accept the registration of “Trump too small” as a trademark for t-shirts mocking the former president. In this episode, we are joined by Professor Yvette Liebesman to discuss the case, the decision, and the implications going forward. Professor Liebesman is an expert in patent and trademark law and is the faculty advisor for the law school’s intellectual property concentration.

Episode 52: The Future of US Elections in Unprecedented Times

Professor Josh DouglasWith an election case involving who is on the ballot headed to the United States Supreme Court and various others bubbling to the surface, this election season promises to be filled with excitement. Between voter access, gerrymandering cases, elected officials pushed out of their district these are certainly unprecedented times. In this episode we are joined by election law expert Josh Douglas. Professor Douglas spent this past fall semester as a visiting professor here at SLU LAW.  He is also currently back at his home institution of Rosenburg College of Law at the University of Kentucky. Professor Douglas is also the host of the new podcast, Democracy Optimist.

Episode 51: From SAG to UWA and beyond: Labor Unions and Today’s Workforce

Michael DuffNearly every day we see a new headline about a labor union in the news. From the recent Writers Guild agreement to the ongoing United Auto Workers strike and the numerous health care walk outs; labor unions are once again changing the game in the workplace. Why the influx in strikes in the labor movement? What does this mean for the future of labor in the United States? In this episode we are joined, once again by Professor Michael Duff. He is a former labor lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board and is a faculty member in the William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law.   

Episode 50: Affirmative Action: Beyond Admissions to Workplace Implications

Dean Belinda DantleyMarcia McCormickThe Supreme Court decision banning race-conscious college admissions that was handed down over the summer has rocked higher education and has forced colleges and universities across the country to examine their processes. But the implications of this case go far beyond campus. The decision has unleashed a new wave of political and legal attacks against corporate America’s anti-discrimination policies. Are our hard-fought DEI initiatives in the workforce the next target? What does this mean for educators and employers? In this episode we are joined by Professor Marcia McCormick, the director of the William C. Wefel Employment Law Center, and Belinda Dantley, the assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the law school. 

Episode 49: The New Age of Voting Rights in the United States

Anders WalkerEarlier this year, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in the voting rights case of Allen v Milligan. To the surprise of voting rights advocates across the country, the Court decided that the Alabama’s redistricting plan violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Just today, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the decision, handing a defeat to Alabama Republicans for the second time in three months. The case concerns the redistricting of Alabama’s seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. We have Professor Anders Walker here to talk through this case with us. Professor Walker teaches Constitutional Law and American Legal History among other courses. For this episode, assistant producer Edna Besic, a 3L at SLU LAW, will join as a co-host.

Episode 48: The Law and Psychology of Medicine After Dobbs

Professor Molly WilsonAs a country, we are still grappling with the impact of the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health decision. There is no community of professionals more impacted than the medical professionals that treat women on a regular basis. In this episode we are joined by Professor Molly Wilson, an expert in law and psychology who holds a Ph.D. in psychology in addition to her J.D. She also serves the law school as the associate dean for research and engagement.

Episode 47: The Resurgence of the Labor Union

Michael DuffLabor unions seem to be having a moment. That is at least according to a recent Gallup poll that shows US approval of labor unions at the highest point since 1965. The latest approval figure comes amid a burst of 2022 union victories across the country, with high-profile successes at major American corporations such as Amazon and Starbucks. The National Labor Relations Board has even reported a 57% increase in union election petitions filed during the first six months of fiscal year 2021. To dig into the labor law issues that this brings about, we turn to Professor Michael Duff. Professor Duff joined the SLU LAW faculty this fall and is the co-director of the William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law. He is an expert in labor law having had a previous career as a labor lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board in Philadelphia and Minneapolis. 

Episode 46: A Model State Law for Public Health Emergency Powers: Health Law Live

Professor Rob GatterThe COVID-19 pandemic has revealed critical ambiguities in state law, especially in regard to the ownership and responsibility of public health orders. Governors often relied on a general statutory power to take 'necessary' actions in response to COVID's threats. Yet, some courts found this statutory authority was so vague that it violated the separation of powers, and they set aside vital public health orders. Meanwhile, some state legislatures attempted to terminate emergency declarations by joint resolution, which was unconstitutional according to one state supreme court. In this episode, we are joined by Professor Rob Gatter, the director of the Center for Health Law Studies and an expert in public health law. Professor Gatter is also currently serving as the Reporter on a project of the Uniform Law Commission to draft a model state law addressing these such ambiguities.

*This episode was recorded live on October 20, 2022 as the final installment of this year's Health Law Live series.

Episode 45: Heath Equity and Long Covid: Health Law Live

Mary CrossleyAccording to President Biden, the COVID-19 pandemic is over. However, there are still millions of Americans that are feeling the lasting effects of their own battle with the virus. As the medical and legal field struggle to catch up with this ongoing issue, there are concerns that what is known as long COVID will result in additional racial health disparities on top of those that occurred during the pandemic. In this episode, we are joined by visiting professor Mary Crossley. Professor Crossley is visiting from Pitt Law where she is a John E. Murray Faculty Scholar and Director of the Health Law program and joins us for this second installment of the Health Law Live series.

Episode 44: Juvenile Life Without Parole and the Case of Adnan Syed

Prof. Lauren BartlettIn September, after spending 23 years of his life behind bars, Adnan Syed walked free. His case was popularized by the podcast Serial in 2014. At the age of 18, 17 at the time of the crime, Syed was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee and sentenced to life in prison. The case has brought to light many issues with the justice system, including deficient counsel and Brady violations. For this episode, we will focus on his sentence and the larger issue of juvenile sentencing.We are joined by Professor Lauren Bartlett who is the director of the law school’s Human Rights at Home Litigation Clinic. Also featured is one of Professor Bartlett's juvenile life without parole clients, Ike Crawford. With the help of the Human Rights at Home Litigation Clinic, Ike was released on parole in February 2021 after being incarcerated for more than 29 years. Ike was sentenced to life without parole for a crime committed when he was just 17 years old.

Episode 43: Property Rights, Fan Fiction, and Lady Whistledown

Yvette LiebesmanNetflix's hit show Bridgerton has taken the world by storm. The Regency era piece set in London has had everyone talking since it premiered in late 2020. It should not be surprising that the show has inspired lots of fan fiction. When the Unofficial Bridgerton Musical by Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear was shown live in concert for a profit, Netflix filed a lawsuit for "blatant infringement of property rights." In this episode, we are joined by Professor Yvette Liebesman about the lawsuit and the complications regarding fan works in general. Professor Liebesman is an expert in copyright and trademark law and is SLU LAW's resident intellectual property scholar.