Supreme Court, Attorney, Jessica Levinson discussed on Press Play with Madeleine Brand

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

A key. Democrat has scheduled a committee vote later this week to authorize a subpoena of the full report and Muller's underlying evidence. And if that passes as it's expected to do New York Democrat, Jerry Nadler could use it to force the Justice department to turn over the report unredacted, Jessica Levinson is here to tell us about this even though it isn't Monday. She's a law professor at Loyola Law School and our regular legal. Hi there. Hi, happy Tuesday. Happy Tuesday to all right. So attorney general Bob Barr said he is going to release the mullahs report. But it'll be reducted and it won't happen until the middle of the month. So why aren't Democrats happy with that? Well, Democrats aren't happy with that. Because they want to see what's in those actions. I mean, they think that might be the really juicy part of the report so to speak. I mean. There's of an old saying when it comes to reading case law that all the good stuff happens in the footnotes. And the same is true. When it comes to redacted documents all the good stuff happens in the reductions until they think that might be where there's a quote, unquote, smoking gun, and or where we get more context about how Robert Muller came to the conclusions. He did and didn't come to the conclusions, for instance, on obstruction of Justice where he didn't. Okay. And so what if there is though some sensitive material in there that shouldn't be made public. I mean, that's what apparently Bob Barr in his attorneys are going through to make sure that there isn't anything that doesn't that can't be made public for privacy, concerns or security, concerns, or whatever. Well, then what we have is a fight about whether or not if the Democrats want to do this. We have a fight about whether or not the White House, and or attorney general bar can prove that there's a valid legal reason for the reductions, and I would say most of the time. Time when it comes to a congressional subpoena of either people or documents, these are really more political questions that have an underlying legal basis. You don't typically go to court and say to a judge tell me is this really valid executive privilege, but that might be actually what happens in this case because I think that democrat absolutely want to see the full unredacted report. And so if they turn general comes back with pages and pages that are essentially black, and all you can see is the words and the and maybe so. You know, you you you could absolutely have Democrats saying you didn't comply with the subpoena. Why are you a certain executive privilege in this instance? And we're going to go to court and see if that's a valid assertion or not. So they would issue the subpoena, and then they would get the redacted report. And then they would sue or would it be? They issue a subpoena. And then the Justice department would say, no, we're not complying, and then they'd go to court. Well, so I would say one is we are in somewhat uncharted territory with respect to the subpoenas in the report certainly congress has the power to subpoena. We know that and we know it's been upheld by the supreme court, but we haven't had a situation where there's been a special counsel under these new regulations and a special counsel report. And then potentially an attorney general and the White House exerting executive privilege. I think what would happen is congressman Nadler would say where issuing a subpoena, and there will be some free. Frankly, kind of political discussion or more of a compromise. Where attorney the attorney general would say, I told you you're getting something it's gonna be before Easter can you hold on? And look at what's redacted. And then let's try and sort that out. So it really depends. I think on how patient the Democrats are doesn't seem like they're very patient is that seem like they're very patient. But they know that politically speaking, I think the attorney general really telling brilliant by putting out that four page, quote, unquote, summary or principal conclusions quickly because that's all we have. And it's all we've been able to talk about and Democrats want to change the narrative, and when I have more information for both investigation, and of course, for political purposes. All right. Let's turn to another story in the news. The supreme court yesterday ruled against a death row inmate in Missouri. And the man said that his execution by lethal injection would cause him quote severe harm and suffering because he has a rare disease the opinion five four revealed some deep rifts among the justices about two other death penalty cases it recently decided so tell us about this first case that they decided yesterday, and then these other two well a case they decided yesterday was really interesting case dealing with the eighth amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. And essentially there was a death row inmate. And he said I have a genetic disorder and based on the lethal injection cocktail that you use. I will be subject to excruciating pain to something akin to torture. If you use that to put me to death in the supreme court in five to four majority written by Justice Neal Gorsuch said well. Even though this is going to be painful. There's nothing in the constitution, which says that you can't have a painful death, and you weren't able to point to an alternative, and so they denied this request. Okay. So that went to the cruel part that the voidance of cruel and unusual. It doesn't mean the avoidance of all pain. Exactly. And I think that there's been an enor-. I mean, it's important for listeners to know there's been an enormous amount of criticism of this particular decision. I mean, people have said that we will read this case along with you know, vilified cases like cases that said separate, but equal is acceptable. And people have said that this absolutely turns the eighth amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment on its head. And I think that would absolutely shows is the court moving to the right? We've talked a lot about the difference. That Justice Anthony Kennedy's absence makes on the court. And I think that we see it here with this five to four majority. And what about these other cases? What does it say about the court, and it's right word leaning. These will be the death penalty or the other two cases we have is very interesting potential flop essentially, there was a February case where the supreme court denied a request by a Muslim man to have his imam present while he was put to death. And then just last week. We have the supreme court granting estate granting a request by Buddhist man to have his Buddhist minister president while he's put to death, and there was an enormous amount of fighting both in those cases. And in the case, we just talked about where the supreme court was kind of talking about what what's the difference between the case of the Muslim, man. What in the Buddhist man, which really interesting is just as cavenaugh actually wrote separately to say, no, no, I can think of a principal difference. It's that the Muslim man waited too long. People are kind of looking at it saying, are, you sure is that really the reason there? I think what it shows is. The course having some growing pains, they're moving to the right. But it's not always gonna be consistent. It's not always going to be pretty it's not always going to be at the same pace that everybody wants Jessica Levinson teaches law at Loyola Law School, and she is our regular legally go here on press play. Thank you. Thank you. Coming up Benjamin Netanyahu could become the longest serving prime minister in Israel. The election is next week Matignon who has redefined is really politics. He learned how when he lived in America when we return, we'll talk live then..

Coming up next