Holiday Travels Podcast: RadioLab’s More Perfect

With winter break comes holiday travels, and with holiday travels comes a lot of time spent in cars and on planes. I’m not a huge podcast person, preferring books and music, but recent bouts of carsickness while reading in the car has forced me to explore the world of podcasts and audiobooks more seriously. One podcast that I absolutely love is Radio Lab’s More Perfect.

More Perfect explores various Supreme Court decisions, whether they are ones awaiting writs or have been landmark decisions in the past. What I love about More Perfect is that they go in-depth into the history of the parties, the story of the case, and the human element of the legal decisions. They tell each case as a story, from start to finish, and they interview relevant parties which add great first-hand nuances. They also tell the story in plain English, not “legalese,” which makes it easy listening for non-lawyers too (my boyfriend, an engineer, loves the podcast too).

I have a few favorite episodes of More Perfect. One, titled “Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer” (each capital letter stands for something related to SCOTUS, can you guess what it is?), tells the background of SCOTUS power grabs and growing authority. It starts with the landmark Marbury v. Madison, and carries through Brown v. Board of Education. Another, “The Heist,” tells a little-known story about Justice Frankfurter, his fan club (affectionately called the Hot Dogs), and a cache of stolen documents that potentially had a significant impact on the make-up of Supreme Court justices. And “Object Anyway” explores the unique process of picking (and removing) jurors from jury pools, with the main case being Batson v. Kentucky. I also love one of RadioLab’s other SCOTUS-based podcast episodes called “Sex, Ducks, and the Founding Feud,” which details how one terrible lawyering episode led SCOTUS to clarify the interplay of and modern rule between treaties, congressional statutes, and state law.

If you’ve got a lot of traveling to do this holiday season I highly suggest checking out More Perfect. They just released a second season so you have plenty of air time to get you through long car rides. Let me know what your favorite episode is!

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