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0 Min Released Apr 14, 2017

Amicus: Playground of Liberty

Newly sworn-in Justice Neil Gorsuch gets his first chance to make his mark on the Court at this week’s oral arguments for Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. The important case asks whether the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause compels the state of Missouri to provide public grant money directly to a church. Holly Hollman, general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, joins us to discuss BJC’s amicus brief in the case, which argues that religious institutions are actually freer if they are barred from accepting government funds.

We also sit down with Jeffrey Toobin, whose piece in this week’s The New Yorker examines the enormous influence that the Federalist Society – and especially its executive vice president Leonard Leo – have on the American judiciary. Toobin argues that with the ascension of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Leo can now be credited with the selection of one-third of the nation’s most powerful judges. 


Transcripts of Amicus are available to Slate Plus members, several days after each episode posts. For a limited time, get 90 days of free access to Slate Plus in the new Slate iOS app. Download it today at slate.com/app.

Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook. Our email is amicus@slate.com

Podcast production by Tony Field. Our intern is Camille Mott.

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