Should Supreme Court Justices Make Way for the Next Generation?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Dec. 20 2013 12:02 PM

The "You'll Drag Me Out of the Supreme Court in a Pine Box" Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the constitutionality of NSA spying, why Justice Ginsburg won't retire strategically, and the story of the original welfare queen.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss Judge Richard Leon's ruling that the NSA's phone program is likely unconstitutional, and whether Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire while Obama can appoint her successor. They’re then joined by Slate’s Josh Levin to talk about his article about the life of Linda Taylor, the original welfare queen.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • Judge Leon's opinion
  • Smith v. Maryland, the 1979 Supreme Court case that established no reasonable expectation of privacy for phone calls
  • Ryan Lizza's New Yorker article about why Obama won't reign in the intelligence community
  • Public concern about what personal information is available online is growing, Chanakya Sethi writes.
  • A commission set up by Obama to review the NSA's programs released a report slamming its surveillance practices and recommending more than 40 reforms.
  • Emily says people should stop telling Ginsburg to retire.
  • Linda Taylor, the original welfare queen, was even worse than Reagan made her out to be, Josh Levin writes.
  • Taylor met almost all the criteria on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist
  • Josh recommends the book Why Americans Hate Welfare, by Martin Gilens

John chatters about an episode of public singing described in Doris Kearn Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit.

Emily chatters about love advice from the men of Slate.

David chatters about the articles we wish we'd published this year—look for a list on Slate soon!

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is gabfest@slate.com. (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Abdullah Rufus and Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

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