Speakeasy Ideas Presents

THE LAW WITH D.K. WILLIAMS

Giving the courts credit when they get it right. Holding them accountable when they don’t.

D.K. Williams is a rare bird. He’s a lawyer who understands economics, cherishes freedom, and loves ideas. That’s why he’s part of the Speakeasy Ideas crew!

In his weekly podcast, THE LAW, D.K. judges what the courts say about the law according to the standards of the U.S. Constitution as well as the timeless principles of individual freedom, private property, and natural justice.

THE LAW is part of the Speakeasy Podcast feed. Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to Speakeasy Ideas podcasts on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. You can also find D.K. on Facebook and Twitter

D.K. is available for teaching, consulting, inspiring, & public speaking. He’s quite good. Just send an email to [email protected] and we’ll make it happen. 

The Law episode 53: Janus v. AFSCME

The Law episode 53: Janus v. AFSCME

In the 2018 case, Janus v. AFSCME, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned one of its earlier decisions, the 1977 case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Ed. The 1977 Abood decision held that unions could deduct “agency fees” from union non-members without their consent. The Court in Janus, in a 5-4 decision, ended that practice as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. 

The Law episode 52: Bush v. Gore

The Law episode 52: Bush v. Gore

Almost 20 years ago, the presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was decided by the results in Florida. Due to the failure of Florida to execute the election and ballot counting process in a competent manner, the United States Supreme Court had to address the Equal Protection issues raised by the state when it changed the process of how it would count the votes and the state did not apply any consistent standard as to how disputed ballots were to be counted. This 5-4 decision halted an unconstitutional third recount of the votes. Bush won Florida’s 25 electoral college votes and the presidential election by fewer than 600 popular votes.

The Law episode 50: Ray v. Blair

The Law episode 50: Ray v. Blair

Lower courts have come to opposite conclusions on whether or not states can bind their Electoral College voters to rubber stamp the popular vote or if electors can use their discretion and vote how they want. If this question is not decided by the U.S. Supreme Court by November 2020, our next Presidential election could result in a disputed Presidency…like we are Venezuela or something.

The Law episode 49: Guerra v. Washington

The Law episode 49: Guerra v. Washington

Whether or not members of the Electoral College can use their discretion when voting, or if states can require electors to vote a certain way, remains in the news. Last week, in episode 48 of The Law, we discussed the 10th Circuit’s ruling on the issue in Baca v Colorado. This week, we discuss a recent Washington state Supreme Court ruling that directly contradicts Baca. How do these two cases arrive at completely opposite conclusions? The Law answers that question.

The Law episode 48: Baca v Colorado Dept. of State

The Law episode 48: Baca v Colorado Dept. of State

A “progressive” anti-electoral college group is funding lawsuits to actually enforce Art II, Section 1 of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment in order to free presidential electors from any state imposed restraints. A divided 10th Circuit panel ruled in their favor and have struck down Colorado’s statutory requirement that presidential electors must cast their vote for whomever gets the most votes in the state. 

The Law episode 47: New York Times v. Sullivan

The Law episode 47: New York Times v. Sullivan

In this famous case, L. B. Sullivan, a Montgomery, Alabama, City Commissioner, sued the New York Times for libel and won a $500,000 verdict in a state court. The Times had run a paid ad, that contain factual errors, critical of the way Alabama and some of its local police had treated civil rights activists. The Times appealed the half a million dollar verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming its rights protected under the First Amendment had been infringed by the state court ruling.  The Supreme Court agreed. 

The Law episode 45: Gamble v. United States

The Law episode 45: Gamble v. United States

Everyone knows that the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment means you can not be criminally tried for the same thing twice, right? Well, you actually can.

The “Dual Sovereign Doctrine” allows for a state court AND a federal court to punish you for the exact same thing. That’s what happened to Terance Gamble, who was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in Alabama state court where he was sentenced to one year of incarceration. Then, because the federal government does not have enough to do, he was charged for the same thing in federal court where he received a 46 month sentence.  

The Law episode 44: Tax Board v. Hyatt

The Law episode 44: Tax Board v. Hyatt

How important is stare decisis?

Two months ago the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, overturned a 40 year old precedent concerning the sovereign immunity of individual states. The majority opinion, written by Clarence Thomas, held that correcting the court’s constitutional mistakes outweighed the doctrine of stare decisis and the importance of abiding by precedent. The respect given to stare decisis and the willingness of the Court to overturn prior decisions will play a major role in upcoming Supreme Court decisions.