The Navajo Fight for Water

As states struggle to divvy up the Colorado River, the federal government has another obligation to fulfill:

he Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that will determine whether or not the government is obligated to ensure water access for Native American tribes. The arguments in the case, Arizona v. Navajo Nation, hinge upon whether or not the government has violated past treaties with the tribe by not providing adequate water.

Guest: Heather Tanana, assistant professor of law at the University of Utah and citizen of the Navajo Nation.

America’s Rich History of Gun Control: How “originalist” arguments against gun control distort actual history.

When the Supreme Court struck down New York’s concealed carry law last year, it set a precedent that gun control laws should be judged against “historical tradition.” But judged against actual American history, it’s the on-going repeal of gun control laws that’s an anomaly.

Guest: Robert J Spitzer, professor emeritus at SUNY Cortland, author of The Gun Dilemma.

Dianne Feinstein’s Last Stand: Can the Democrats afford to let the California senator finish her term?

The 89-year-old Dianne Feinstein has stated she plans to retire at the end of her term, but her health-related absences have stymied the Democrats’ ability to confirm judges—one of the few things the party can actually do in a divided government.

Guest: Joe Garofoli, senior political writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, covering national and state politics.

Dominion Takes Fox News to Court: Can Dominion prove “actual malice”?

The defamation trial between Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News starts this week. Though Dominion uncovered a trove of texts and emails from people at Fox News who knew calling the 2020 election stolen was a lie, proving “defamation” is a high bar in the United States. Can Dominion win the case? And even if Fox News can win the legal case, is their reputation shot?

Guest: Erik Wemple, Washington Post media critic

Do Abortion Pills Actually Need FDA Approval?

A judge has revoked FDA approval of mifepristone. But the FDA could fight back – in more ways than one.

Last week a federal judge in Texas refuted the FDA approval for mifepristone, a pill used for medication abortions, which would suspend that approval across the country.

But some experts say – plenty of drugs don’t have FDA approval, and are still widely distributed… from baby formula, to multivitamins.

Guest: Rachel Rebouché, dean and James E. Beasley professor of law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law and faculty fellow at the Center for Public Health Law Research.

Tennessee’s House Divided: Days of public protest, open shouting from the Rotunda, and expulsions that broke on color lines

The Tennessee House, which has a Republican supermajority, voted last week on motions to expel three Democratic members for “disorderly behavior” after they led protest chants from the floor of the chamber.

Two Black lawmakers, Rep. Justin Jones and Rep. Justin Pearson—both in their late 20s and new to the House this session—were ousted. The motion to boot the other Rep. Gloria Johnson, who’s white, failed by one vote.

Guest: Melissa Brown, state politics reporter for The Tennessean.

Clarence Thomas’s Friends in High Places: Who is Harlan Crow and why is he the justice’s vacation benefactor?

A ProPublica investigation revealed that Justice Clarence Thomas has been gifted luxury vacations by Republican donor and billionaire Harlan Crow. For over two decades, Justice Thomas has taken private jets, gone on yachts and stayed at private resorts alongside powerful Republican donors, all funded by Crow. For the most part, Justice Thomas did not disclose these vacations.

The investigation raises questions on the legality of these types of gifts, as well as the lack of oversight and ethics standards for the Supreme Court. Did these vacations break the law? To what extent could Justice Thomas’s court rulings have been influenced by Crow and other people on these trips? And even if some of these gifts may not have been illegal, why doesn’t the Supreme Court have more oversight and ethical guidelines to prevent potential conflicts of interest?

Guest: Justin Elliot, reporter at ProPublica.

Preventing Preventive Care: A federal judge has blocked a key provision of the ACA—who will step up to save it?

A federal judge has struck down a provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring private insurers to provide preventive care—screenings and the like—at no cost to patients.

But preventive care is a good investment for insurance companies and for national health. It’s something Americans already don’t get enough of — but is anyone willing to step in and save it?

Guest: Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent Kaiser Health News, host of the “What the Health” podcast

Wisconsin’s High-Stakes Supreme Court Race

In Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court election is breaking records when it comes to campaign spending on a judicial race. With abortion rights for Wisconsinites, their state’s electoral geography, and potentially the fate of the 2024 presidential election on the line, that big ticket spending makes sense. But will it make a difference in who gets the seat?

Guest: Mark Joseph Stern, senior staff writer for Slate.

Trump Heads to Court

In a history-making move, a grand jury voted to indict a former president. We’ll have more answers about the details of the charges after Donald Trump’s Tuesday arraignment, but what this means for the GOP nomination, the 2024 race, and for future presidents in politically-hostile states is still up in the air.

Guest: Ankush Khardori, former federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice.