The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Liberals Need a Clearer Vision of the Constitution. Here’s What It Could Look Like.
For decades now, the conservative legal movement has been on a mission to remake this nation’s laws from the bench. And it’s working. On Friday we released an episode with the legal scholar Kate Shaw that walked through case after case showing how conservative Supreme Court majorities have lurched this country’s laws to the right on guns, voting, gerrymandering, regulatory authority, unions, campaign finance and more in the past 20 years. And if the Dobbs majority is any indication, this rightward shift is just getting started. But this conservative legal revolution is only half of the story. The other half is just as important: the collapse of liberal constitutional thinking. Liberals have “lost anything that would animate a positive theory of what the Constitution should be,” says the legal scholar Larry Kramer. “And so they’ve been left with a kind of potpourri of leftover things from the periods when liberals were ascendant in the ’60s and ’70s.” Kramer is a former dean of Stanford Law School, the current president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the author of“The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.” And according to him, it hasn’t always been this way. For most of American history, politicians, from Jefferson to Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt, believed that constitutional interpretation was inextricable from politics. And they put forward distinct visions of what the Constitution meant and the kind of country it was written to build. But then, in response to the progressive victories of the Warren court, liberals began to embrace the doctrine of judicial supremacy: the view that the final authority on the Constitution rests with the courts. This has resulted in both the conservative legal victories of the past few decades and liberals’ muddled, weak response. So this is a conversation about the collapse of liberal constitutional politics: why it happened, what we can learn from it and what a renewed, progressive vision of the Constitution could look like. We also discuss why the founders weren’t actually originalists at all, whether liberal constitutional thinking has been captured by the legal profession, what a liberal alternative to originalism could consist of, why changing the size of the court (despite its controversies) has been an important tool for staving off constitutional crisis, the case for an “anti-oligarchy Constitution,” the merits of imposing supermajority requirements on court decisions and nominations, why Kramer views Roosevelt’s infamous court-packing effort as a major success and more. Mentioned: Larry Kramer’s testimony at the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States “Judicial Supremacy and the End of Judicial Restraint” by Larry D. Kramer “Marbury and the Retreat from Judicial Supremacy” by Larry D. Kramer “The Judicial Tug of War” by Adam Bonica and Maya Sen Book recommendations: The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution by Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath The Second Creation by Jonathan Gienapp When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut We’re hiring a researcher! You can apply here or by visiting Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Annie Galvin and Rogé Karma; fact-checking by Michelle Harris, Mary Marge Locker, Kate Sinclair and Irene Noguchi; original music and mixing by Isaac Jones; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Our executive producer is Irene Noguchi. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski.
1 hr 13 min
WNYC Studios
My Thymus, Myself
Today, we go to a spot that may be one of the most philosophical places in the universe: the thymus, an organ that knows what is you, and what is not you. Its mood may be existential, but its role is practical — the thymus is the biological training ground where the body learns to protect itself from outside invaders (think: bacteria, coronaviruses). But this training is not the humdrum bit of science you might expect. It’s a magical shadowland with dire consequences. Then, we’ll leave the thymus to visit a team of doctors who are using this organ that protects you as a way to protect someone… else. Their work could change everything. Special Thanks: One thousand thanks to Hannah Meyer, Salomé Carcy, Josh Torres, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for showing us a real-life (mouse) thymus for this episode. Special thanks also go to Diane Mathis and Kate Webb. Further reading: Wanna do a little light reading? Here’s the immunology textbook Jenni Punt and Sharon Stranford helped write, including a whole section on that funny little thing called AIRE! Kuby Immunology The science paper that first described what happens inside the thymus as an, “immunological self shadow”. Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab ( today. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about special events. Sign up (! Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing And, by the way, Radiolab is looking for a remote intern! If you happen to be a creative, science-obsessed nerd who is interested in learning how to make longform radio… Apply! We would LOVE to work with you. You can find more info at
28 min
True Crime Garage
True Crime Garage
America’s Highway Serial Killers /// Part 4 /// 593
America’s Highway Serial Killers /// Part 4 /// 593 Part 4 of 4 This week we pick up right where we left off with more bad guys and bad news from America’s Highways. Tammy Jo Zywicki was an amazing young woman who had just one year left at Grinnell college before going on to some big and wonderful things. When her car broke down in central Illinois that all changed. Most of us would have stopped to help the young woman or felt guilty as we continued on our journey hoping not to be later for our next stop. Unfortunately in this real life true crime story that was not to be. As her Pontiac sat on the side of Interstate 80 (I-80) Tammy had her head under the hood trying to fix the problem but then along came a spider. A predator saw an opportunity and pounced. Police have come up with some suspects over the years and we are ready to serve them up to you as we close out this four part series. If you have any information regarding the still unsolved murder of Tammy Jo Zywicki please call or email your local FBI office. If you have any information regarding the still unsolved murder of Kristin Schmidt please call the Oregon State Police - dial *OSP or *677 if you are calling from a mobile phone, or dial: 503-378-3720 Beer of the Week - Pitch Invasion Lager (Nashville Soccer Club) by the amazing folks over at Fat Bottom Brewing Co. Nashville, Tennessee Garage Grade - 3 and 3 quarter bottle caps out of 5 Recommended Reading - Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate by Ginger Strand Our show - True Crime Garage “Off the Record” is available only on Stitcher Premium. For a FREE month of listening go to and use promo code GARAGE
55 min
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