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SCOTUS Deep Dive: Precedent and Tribal Land Dispute (PODCAST)

April 25, 2020, 12:42 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court issued six opinions in argued cases this week, including one supporting unanimous juries that magnified the issue of precedent. It’s a hot topic for court watchers, especially with an abortion rights case from Louisiana still to be decided.

“Cases and Controversies” hosts Kimberly Robinson and Jordan Rubin unpack the ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana. It was a stare decisis throwdown in which Justice Elena Kagan joined some of her Republican-appointed colleagues in dissent, prompting speculation about why she did so.

The hosts also recap the other opinions that included interesting vote lineups among the justices.

The special guest is Riyaz Kanji, who next month will participate in telephone arguments on behalf of the Creek Nation in McGirt v. Oklahoma. That dispute calls into question the status of tribal reservations in the eastern half of the state. Kanji explains why he believes claims by Oklahoma officials of a crisis if the justices side with the Creek Nation are overblown.

Hosts: Kimberly Robinson and Jordan Rubin

Guest: Riyaz Kanji

Producer: David Schultz

Listen here.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Jordan S. Rubin in Washington at; Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at; John Crawley at