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 65: “A Republic, If You Can Keep It” by Neil Gorsuch

The Law episode 65: “A Republic, If You Can Keep It” by Neil Gorsuch

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch’s book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, attempts to explain to non-lawyers the importance of the constitutional framework of our federal government. And he succeeds. He discusses how the separation of powers, when followed, protects our rights and liberties. He clarifies the job of federal judges and, more importantly, explains what judges are not supposed to do. We discuss all of that, and more.

The Law episode 64: Texas v. U.S.

The Law episode 64: Texas v. U.S.

Just last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is no longer constitutional. Despite wailing from some who support the ACA, the 5th Circuit is correct. The Supreme Court, in 2012, upheld the mandate on the sole basis of Congress’s power to tax. That tax was lowered to $0.00 in 2017. Since there is no longer a tax, there is no longer any constitutional authority for the mandate. We discuss what it all means. 

The Law episode 63: Legal Lessons from Richard Jewell

The Law episode 63: Legal Lessons from Richard Jewell

The recent movie directed by Clint Eastwood, Richard Jewell, dramatizes the actual events surrounding a pipe bomb explosion during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. When I first saw the trailer for the movie, I was yelling at the screen “DON’T TALK TO THE POLICE, RICHARD! SHUT UP!” Fortunately, my yelling was internal. In this podcast, I discuss the constitutional issues raised by the movie and the actual events it portrays, including the Fifth Amendment protection of the right to remain silent and the First Amendment application to freedom of the press and defamation.

The Law episode 62: Printz v. United States

The Law episode 62: Printz v. United States

In this 5-4, 1997 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared certain key provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act unconstitutional. While the Brady Act was an attempt at federal gun control, this is not a Second Amendment case. It is a Tenth Amendment case. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, held that Congress is constitutionally prohibited from infringing on the sovereignty of states by commanding local law enforcement agents to participate in a federal regulatory scheme, subject to federal sanction if they do not. 

The Law episode 61: Knick v. Township of Scott

The Law episode 61: Knick v. Township of Scott

he Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, ordered Mary Jane Knick to allow the public on her property because it contained a private cemetery. She opposed that directive. This Supreme Court case from earlier this year deals with two important topics: The Fifth Amendment Takings Clause and stare decisis. The 5-4 majority in this case allowed Knick to bring a federal lawsuit against her local government for depriving her of her rights as an owner of private land without first exhausting all potential state remedies. In so doing, the Court overturned a 1985 ruling that held to the contrary. 

The Law episode 60: Special Interview with Micheal Baca

The Law episode 60: Special Interview with Micheal Baca

This is a special edition of The Law. We discussed the 10th Circuit opinion Baca v. Colorado (2019) back in episode 48 of The Law. Micheal Baca (yes, he spells his first name Micheal, not Michael) is the plaintiff in that case, and he graciously agreed to talk to me about how he became a Presidential Elector, why he did not vote for Hillary Clinton as state law required, and what happened when he refused to rubber stamp a ballot with only one name on it.

The Law episode 57: Miller v. California

The Law episode 57: Miller v. California

Marvin Miller was convicted of violating California’s criminal obscenity law when he sent unsolicited mailings advertising the availability of some dirty books and a movie. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld his conviction. This is one of several cases from this era where the Court struggled to define the limits of free speech under the First Amendment.

The Law episode 55:  DC v. Wesby

The Law episode 55: DC v. Wesby

This case, otherwise known as the Peaches’ House Party Case, deals with probable cause and qualified immunity of police officers. Justice Thomas wrote the opinion for a unanimous court overturning judgments of almost $1,000,000 awarded to partygoers for what the lower court found to be their unlawful arrest. Turns out, the plaintiffs had entered an unoccupied house and, well, had a party. When neighbors complained and the police showed up, some of the partygoers were arrested. 

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.