Strict Scrutiny, the Crooked Media podcast co-hosted by Professor Leah Litman, ‘10, recently won an Ambie Award—one of the top honors in the industry—as Best Politics or Opinion Podcast.
Strict Scrutiny—which focuses on the US Supreme Court and the legal culture surrounding it—won its honor over nominees from The Economist, The Washington Post, and several others.
Litman hosts the podcast with two other constitutional law professors, Melissa Murray of the NYU School of Law and Kate Shaw of the Cardozo School of Law. The trio launched Strict Scrutiny, which is now produced by Crooked Media, in 2019 and describe it as providing “in-depth, accessible, and irreverent analysis of the Supreme Court and its cases, culture, and personalities.”
Each week they “break down the latest headlines and biggest legal questions facing our country, emphasizing what it all means for our daily lives.”
The Ambies, presented by the Podcast Academy, celebrate excellence among all genres of podcasting. Awards were presented at a live ceremony in Las Vegas hosted by comedian Larry Wilmore.
In celebration of the honor, we asked Litman to identify her five favorite episodes of Strict Scrutiny.
- “How the 303 Creative Case Threatens to Roll Back the 21st Century” “This episode took what was an occasionally bizarre and other times outlandish and even terrifying oral argument in 303 Creative v. Elenis (which involves a constitutional challenge to an antidiscrimination measure protecting LGBTQ individuals) and tried to break down what the justices were communicating through their questions—and what that meant for the future of antidiscrimination law, civil rights, and LGBTQ equality.”
- “Roe Is Dead. Now What?” “The Supreme Court’s opinion overruling Roe v. Wade was a monumental moment for the country, and my co-hosts and I really tried to help people process what it meant and think about what might happen in the future.”
- “What the SCOTUS Leak Could Mean for Abortion” “The leak of the Court’s draft opinion overruling Roe was also a pivotal moment for the country and the Court. This episode was both personally cathartic and meaningful in a more general sense because the substance of the opinion, as well as the leak, really took some people by surprise and we tried to explain what was happening.”
- “2020 Bingo Card” “One of my favorite parts of the podcast is getting to talk to guests who are doing some of the most important work on the courts. In this episode, we had on Chase Strangio, the deputy director for transgender justice with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project. Talking with him about the Supreme Court's big LGBTQ equality decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, from a few terms ago was both hopeful and clarifying.”
- “Trollito”“This episode had another wonderful guest, Julie Rikelman, who has since been nominated to be a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Julie argued the two recent abortion cases at the Court—Dobbs (the decision overruling Roe) and June Medical (the case we discuss here). It’s really a pleasure to be able to share these guests’ insight and work with an audience.”