OA366: Your Guide to the Coronavirus!


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By Thomas Smith and Andrew Torrez, Thomas Smith, and Andrew Torrez. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Today's episode breaks down force majeure clauses in contracts and takes a look at what might happen in the next few weeks as the world prepares to deal with COVID-19 coronavirus. Along the way we also tackle the news of the week, including the baffling decision out of the DC Circuit not to require Don McGahn to testify. You won't want to miss this episode!

We begin, however, with some recurring Vice Presidential/line of succession questions and take a mini-deep-dive into the absolutely bonkers elections of 1796 and 1800 that produced the 12th Amendment, and what it says about vice-presidential qualifications.

After that, it's time for our main segment on coronavirus, which includes a deep dive into various cases where contracts have been broken due to "acts of god." Is a global pandemic an "act of god?" Listen, find out, and you'll soon be able to whip out four-part tests if your hotel tries to cancel your room due to coronavirus scares.

Then, it's time to pick apart the D.C. Circuit's 2-1 baffling opinion that the House Oversight Committee lacks standing to go to a court to enforce its subpoena over Don McGahn. This is technically an "Andrew Was Wrong," because Andrew did not imagine that any judges with functioning brain cells could have authored an opinion this bad. Find out what's next!

After all that, it's time for a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam involving a tainted witness identification. And remember that you too can play along by sharing out this episode on social media and using the hashtag #T3BE.


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. For all your Vice Presidential qualification questions, check out the 12th Amendment!
  2. Here's the D.C. Circuit's decision in McGahn, and we also referenced Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997) and, of course, Opening Arguments's good friend Richard Nixon in United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 696-97 (1974).
  3. Finally, you can read Josh Chafetz's law review article, "Executive Branch Contempt of Congress."

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