More Perfect

We’re taught the Supreme Court was designed to be above the fray of politics. But at a time when partisanship seeps into every pore of American life, are the nine justices living up to that promise? More Perfect is a guide to the current moment on the Court. We bring the highest court of the land down to earth, telling the human dramas at the Court that shape so many aspects of American life — from our religious freedom to our artistic expression, from our reproductive choices to our voice in democracy.

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 40m. Bisher sind 55 Folge(n) erschienen. Dies ist ein wöchentlich erscheinender Podcast.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 1 day 12 hours 22 minutes


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episode 12: Andy Warhol and the Art of Judging Art

The law protects creators' original work against copycats, but it also leaves the door open for some kinds of copying. When a photographer sues the Andy Warhol Foundation for using her work without permission, the justices struggle not to play art critics as they decide the case. More Perfect explores how this star-studded case offers a look at how this Court actually makes decisions. Voices in the episode include: • David Hobbs — known as Mr...


 August 3, 2023  41m

episode 11: The Original Anti-Vaxxer

In 1902, a Swedish-American pastor named Henning Jacobson refused to get the smallpox vaccine. This launched a chain of events leading to two landmark Supreme Court cases, in which the Court considered the balancing act between individual liberty over our bodies and the collective good. A version of this story originally ran on The Experiment on March 21, 2021. Voices in the episode include: • Rev...


 July 27, 2023  40m

episode 10: Not Even Past: Dred Scott Reprise

Dred Scott v. Sandford is one of the most infamous cases in Supreme Court history: in 1857, an enslaved person named Dred Scott filed a suit for his freedom and lost. In his decision, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney wrote that Black men “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” One Civil War and more than a century later, the Taneys and the Scotts reunite at a Hilton in Missouri to figure out what reconciliation looks like in the 21st century...


 July 20, 2023  35m

episode 9: No More Souters

David Souter is one of the most private, low-profile justices ever to have served on the Supreme Court. He rarely gives interviews or speeches. Yet his tenure was anything but low profile. Deemed a “home run” nominee by Republicans, Souter defied partisan expectations on the bench and ultimately ceded his seat to a Democratic president. In this episode, the story of how “No More Souters” became a rallying cry for Republicans and inspired a backlash that would change the Court forever...


 July 13, 2023  48m

episode 8: Off the Record, On the Stand

Recently, On the Media’s Micah Loewinger was called to testify in court. He had reported on militia groups who’d helped lead the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Now the government was using his work as evidence in a case against them. Micah wanted nothing to do with it — he worried that participating in the trial would signal to sources that he couldn’t be trusted, which would compromise his work. As he considered his options, he uncovered a 1972 case called Branzburg v. Hayes...


 June 29, 2023  33m

episode 7: Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Reprise

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act in a case called Haaland v. Brackeen. The decision comes almost exactly 10 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, which planted the seed for last week’s big ruling. To mark the new landmark decision, More Perfect re-airs the Radiolab episode that tells the story of two families, a painful history, and a young girl caught in the middle...


 June 22, 2023  46m

episode 6: Part 2: If Not Viability, Then What?

Now that the “viability line” in pregnancy — as defined by Roe v. Wade — is no longer federal law, lawmakers and lawyers are coming up with new frameworks for abortion access at a dizzying rate...


 June 15, 2023  35m

episode 5: Part 1: The Viability Line

When the justices heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the landmark abortion case, one word came up more than any other: viability. The viability line was at the core of Roe v. Wade, and it’s been entrenched in the abortion rights movement ever since. But no one seems to remember how this idea made its way into the abortion debate in the first place...


 June 8, 2023  44m

episode 4: The Political Thicket Reprise

This week, we revisit one of the most important Supreme Court cases you’ve probably never heard of: Baker v. Carr, a redistricting case from the 1960s, which challenged the justices to consider what might happen if they stepped into the world of electoral politics. It’s a case so stressful that it pushed one justice to a nervous breakdown, put another justice in the hospital, brought a boiling feud to a head, and changed the course of the Supreme Court — and the nation — forever...


 June 1, 2023  45m

episode 3: The Court’s Reporters

Unlike other branches of government, the Supreme Court operates with almost no oversight. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom, no binding code of ethics, and records of their activities are incredibly hard to get...


 May 25, 2023  35m