Russian Invades Ukraine, Biden’s Nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson, 1st Amendment vs LGBTQ+ Anti-Discrimination

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Mike & Jay are joined by Trey on this episode of the podcast, which starts off with an extended discussion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The guys get into likely outcomes, Putin’s strategic savvy, the ineffectiveness of sanctions, democratic vs authoritarian regimes, prospects for energy policy in Europe, the GOP split in reactions to Putin and Russia, how Russia’s actions might affect China’s view of a Taiwan, and a lot more.

Then it’s a look at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Nobody is surprised by Biden’s choice, and the guys expect Jackson to be confirmed on a narrow, mostly party line vote. Jay suggests that a more consensus-building nominee might have been shortlisted candidate J. Michelle Childs, though Mike argues that we’re in an age where almost no conceivable Supreme Court nominee would be confirmed with any significant bipartisan support.

After that is a discussion of the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will be hearing 303 Creative v. Elenis, in which a Christian website designer argues that Colorado’s LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination law violates her 1st amendment free expression and free exercise of religion rights. The Court declined to consider the religious freedom implications, but Jay, Mike, and Trey all agree that a majority of the Justices are likely to see that law as unconstitutionally compelling speech.

Next, they talk about why a Democratic House member would want to deliver a response to Democrat Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union Address, as Michigan Representative and “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib plans to do for the progressive group Working Families Party. Following that, they discuss the launch of Donald Trump’s Truth Social app, as well as a federal court ruling that pits deference to administrative regulations against the Court’s role in determining the meaning of major legal questions.

Mike’s Recommendations
The Hitman’s Bodyguard & The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Trey’s Recommendations
The Constitution, An Introduction.  Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen

The Least of Us, Part II (video game)

Jay’s Recommendations
The NRPLUS Facebook Group

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. Ben Macintyre

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