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History As It Happens

May 31, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court, one of our bedrock judicial institutions, has been on the wrong side of history time and again. But as the arbiter of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is indispensable to the functioning of democracy. In this episode, esteemed constitutional scholar Akhil Amar discusses some of the court's most notorious rulings, starting with Dred Scott in 1857. And as the current court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, Amar draws parallels between Roe and Dred Scott that explain why the robed justices have never been beyond the reach of criticism for, in the eyes of the critics, botching the Constitution.