Radiolab Presents: More Perfect

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Date Title & Description Contributors

  Andy Warhol and the Art of Judging Art

The law protects creators' original work against copycats, but it also leaves the door open for some kinds of copying. When a photographer sues the Andy Warhol Foundation for using her work without permission, the justices struggle not to play art crit...
  WNYC Studios author

  The Original Anti-Vaxxer

In 1902, a Swedish-American pastor named Henning Jacobson refused to get the smallpox vaccine. This launched a chain of events leading to two landmark Supreme Court cases, in which the Court considered the balancing act between individual liberty over ...
  WNYC Studios author

  Not Even Past: Dred Scott Reprise

Dred Scott v. Sandford is one of the most infamous cases in Supreme Court history: in 1857, an enslaved person named Dred Scott filed a suit for his freedom and lost. In his decision, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney wrote that Black men “had no rights...
  WNYC Studios author

  No More Souters

David Souter is one the most private, low-profile justices ever to have served on the Supreme Court. He rarely gives interviews or speeches. Yet his tenure was anything but low profile. Deemed a “home run” nominee by Republicans, Souter defied partisan...
  WNYC Studios author

  Off the Record, On the Stand

Recently, On the Media’s Micah Loewinger was called to testify in court. He had reported on militia groups who’d helped lead the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Now the government was using his work as evidence in a case against them. Micah wanted not...
  WNYC Studios author

  Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Reprise

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act in a case called Haaland v. Brackeen. The decision comes almost exactly 10 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, which planted the seed for last week’s big ...
  WNYC Studios author

  Part 2: If Not Viability, Then What?

Now that the “viability line” in pregnancy — as defined by Roe v. Wade — is no longer federal law, lawmakers and lawyers are coming up with new frameworks for abortion access at a dizzying rate. In this second part of our series, More Perfect asks: wha...
  WNYC Studios author

  Part 1: The Viability Line

When the justices heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the landmark abortion case, one word came up more than any other: viability. The viability line was at the core of Roe v. Wade, and it’s been entrenched in the abor...
  WNYC Studios author

  The Political Thicket Reprise

This week, we revisit one of the most important Supreme Court cases you’ve probably never heard of: Baker v. Carr, a redistricting case from the 1960s, which challenged the justices to consider what might happen if they stepped into the world of electo...
  WNYC Studios author

  The Court’s Reporters

Unlike other branches of government, the Supreme Court operates with almost no oversight. No cameras are allowed in the courtroom, no binding code of ethics, and records of their activities are incredibly hard to get. So how do reporters uncover the ac...
  WNYC Studios author