Strict Scrutiny


Strict Scrutiny is a podcast about the United States Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it.

Hosted by three badass constitutional law professors-- Leah Litman, Kate Shaw, and Melissa Murray-- Strict Scrutiny provides in-depth, accessible, and irreverent analysis of the Supreme Court and its cases, culture, and personalities. Each week, Leah, Kate, and Melissa break down the latest headlines and biggest legal questions facing our country, emphasizing what it all means for our daily lives.

Whether you’re a lawyer or law student, or you’re just here for the messy legal drama, Strict Scrutiny has you covered. New episodes out every Monday… plus bonuses whenever SCOTUS takes away another one of our rights.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • Paladinboy
    The Most Informative and Entertaining Legal podcast
    Simply in awe of these brilliant minds. Without question my most important and most looked forward to podcast. I am a better and more informed citizen because of it. Thank you.
  • Nicky N. Nickname
    Informative, interesting and accessible
    Impressive how well this podcast is able to discuss serious and potentially wonky issues in such a conversational and accessible way. Really well done.
  • sirfreedom1963
    Millard E. Cook Jr.
  • DrDK2
    What is Our Recourse?
    We now know this Supreme Court was bought by right wing billionaires. We have seen the onslaught of radical and destructive decisions without basis in law. Two Trump Justices are there illegitimately and Clarence Thomas is overtly corrupt. So, how do we fight back? What kind of novel legal recourse do we have? A giant class action suit against Mitch McConnell by every person harmed by decisions made by this illegitimate MAGA Court?
  • Lawyer Extraordinaire
    Shallow, glib, commercialism
    They are shallow, materialistic girl bosses (phoney commercialized feminists ... Taylor Swift and Beyonce....? Shallow pop commercialism). I would not recommend this podcast to my daughter, friends, or enemies.
  • pd1246
    Kate slow down!
    Good show but I have a very hard time with how fast and low pitch Kate Shaw’s voice is. I miss a lot of what she is saying. Just slow down Kate -you are not communicating well.
  • penninger
    I love listening to the podcast, it’s interesting and informative. But sometimes I get so angry I have to stop before the end. Not your fault just the things the court does sometimes is infuriating! I know don’t get mad vote. Trust me I bet I haven’t missed a half dozen elections in the last 40 years, including local elections.
  • LilaL240610
    Funny and smart
    Funny banter and good background on legal issues that come out of SCOTUS and it’s hopefuls. A good way to understand the news coming out of the court and the legal arguments for those of us not in law.
  • David Poste
    Not at all objective.
    Not a credible source of objective information. Extremely left leaning. A final note lowers my appraisal by two stars. The hosts and guests are extremely disrespectful of judges who have views different from theirs.
  • ljmcdade
    SCOTUS decoder extraordinaire
    If you told me a year ago that I would be anxiously awaiting the pod drop of a show about the Supreme Court, I’d think you were nuts. But here I am, enjoying this intelligent and thoughtful show that simultaneously explains the nightmare we are all collectively living through while also offering much needed little rays of hope.
  • CAM1126
    Huge fan of the show but the recent episode on relooking at Dobbs was just amazing. I laughed and cried. Thank you ladies for all you are doing!!!
  • DevKeegs108
    Mixed bag
    The legal analysis presented is generally solid, the “jokes” and off the cuff improv between the host is really cringe though. Kate Shaw is pretty excellent though, so worth listening for her legal breakdowns.
  • GretaLaFleur
    This podcast is the only thing getting me through this hellscape of a political moment
    Ok, that review title is an (small) exaggeration but this is a fantastic podcast. It’s a great mix of technical legal analysis alongside historical and contemporary social and political context. I love the discussion of SCOTUS-adjacent books in the “off-season,” the matching of the justices with their appropriate Taylor Swift theme songs, and the hosts’ senses of humor. The final, recap episode following SCOTUS’ path of destruction (aka Fair Admissions, 303 Creative, etc) had me laughing out loud so often that my partner made me take off my headphones and play it on the speakers so she could hear. I recommend this podcast to everyone. It’s FANTASTICO!!
  • Gina 1925
    Love this podcast
    I wait for this pod every week! The analysis always leads me to read and learn more, and honestly the outrage, considering the way the court is endangering people’s bodily autonomy, safety and civic humanity is reassuring. I do agree with others that you need and deserve some audio upgrades. I listen while running and have to constantly adjust the volume to hear you all, based on who’s speaking. Thanks for this thoughtful, incisive, funny pod.
  • LynStL
    Audio management needed
    I love this podcast and all three hosts are great. However I spend a lot of my listening time adjusting the volume because of the wild differences in the speaking styles of the hosts. Kate speaks VERY quickly and at a low volume. Melissa’s volume goes from mid-level to screeching from one sentence to the next. Leah is mostly screaming the entire time. If there is a way that the producers could manipulate the volumes afterwards it would be great!
  • Cwoowc
    Extremely informative but annoying
    Come for the context and analysis; take regular breaks due to Leah’s grating personality and incessant Taylor Swift references.
  • beacape
    Alito will surely recuse, right?😂
  • zarfster
    A great podcast
    As an Australian lawyer I listen to this podcast to keep up to date on SCOTUS & it’s worrying (!) developments. The presenters on this podcast are eloquent, hilarious & knowledgable. They are a brave superheroes in my book. SCOTUS these days scares the heck out of me & makes me glad to live under the Australian legal system. I love this podcast so much that I was inspired to spend a few hours making their logo in LEGO! Highly recommended!
  • Captain Jaack
    Sophistry and Dillusion
    Brain dead and biased to the point of being indiscernible from sophistry. I’ve listened to stronger arguments presented at high school debates. At least high schoolers don’t selectively omit facts that undermine their entire argument. These podcasters should genuinely be embarrassed to refer to themselves as lawyers. They give the legal field a bad name.
  • chart_of_darkness
    I’m a Melissa sun, Leah rising, Kate moon.
    Describing the Taft-era SCOTUS as “…the jurisprudential Kato Kaelin” prompted this review. If you would also cackle at such a perfect pop-culture infused description of the evolution of the court, this is required listening. Come for the insightful commentary and engaging conversation, stay for the cultural references and well deserved critiques. These ladies are icons, their podcast is a legend and they are the moment.
  • Magic Dr.
    Excellent analysis and a fun listen
    Title says it all. I love their takes and that they are unabashedly and utterly themselves. Screw the haters. These ladies are where it’s at!
  • CottonMN
    Insightful and Entertaining
    I am not an attorney, but these ladies break everything down so I can understand. The episodes prepare me for conversations with my 17 and 21 year old kids and make me sound brilliant.
  • RobertPegram
    Couldn’t get through 10 minutes, no facts just opinions. You’ll be dumber if you listen to this podcast
  • jens1972
    I tried. But no.
    I love getting into SCOTUS Opinions. This podcast does that, but there is absolutely no balance at all. They do not even try to offer any balance. Everyone has biases, but they take it too far. Even when I agree with them, I am turned off by their attitudes towards anyone who disagrees.
  • Mrs. Esterhouse
    Brought to you by artisian pottery?!
    This podcast has brought really great and engaging content. But I really don’t understand the advertising. It’s just cringe. Like they need money, but don’t have the weight to ask legit companies. Just gross.
    Descendants of Troy
    Artemis lifts a goblet of wine to a smug, knowing smile. Having spent millennia meticulously guarding and guiding an unbroken line of heirs to the Mantle of Cassandra, the goddess of the hunt relishes her accomplishments with this generation as they hunt their prey and nemesis, Calculito, Father of Legal Mathematics. May the odds be ever in their favors.
  • evjd
    Comediennes they are not
    Giggling and making farcical comments about certain justices does no service to anyone. I am certain these “ladies” have the best of credentials but they do not shine in case law analysis.
  • ZoeFarkas
    Smart, fun, and overall amazing podcast!
    I love this podcast! I had the privilege of taking family law with Melissa Murray and I love that I can get more of her insights. All 3 women are absolutely brilliant and bring interesting perspectives. Their mix of rage and humor is a perfect reflection of how I, and I’m sure many people, feel about the current dumpster fire of a situation the federal courts have put us in. They make me feel validated and not insane when they express the anger and frustration at the current state of our country instead of letting it be normalized. Everyone should listen to this podcast to understand what’s happening at all levels of the federal courts and the major importance those courts have!
  • lmoneal7
    Love this podcast. But like Advisory Opinion, lawyers have no taste in music. Check out a Tool show this fall 23 and stop listening to Taylor Swift!
  • Adri2765
    LOVE this podcast!!
    Kate, Leah, and Melissa are all fantastic. They are funny and make the Supreme Court and their rulings easily accessible and entertaining. I look forward to their podcast every week.
  • AATX1228
    A disservice to legal commentary
    For a podcast that hosts such highly educated women to give legal perspective and commentary, Strict Scrutiny quickly dissolves into sarcasm, name calling, info-tainment and no desire to even give credence to where the other side is coming from. I understand that this is coming from a left wing perspective, but I don’t understand why there’s no depth from these respected commentators.
  • Jimgimini
    Favorite podcast
    Always funny and piercing. Didn’t think a SCOTUS podcast would nudge me towards being a Swiftie
  • Jerry Starbuck
    Loved episode on 7/10/23. Interesting !!
  • StaticJ
    Somewhat childish
    Kind of reminds me of a poorly written episode of Mean Girls. Those reviewers who state “This podcast helps me understand a difficult topic” simply do not understand how superficial this show is. Label the podcast “comedy” and I’ll give it an extra star.
  • Appleman 22152
    What a joke
    If you’re looking for an objective legal discussion about SCOTUS opinions, decisions, case choices, etc., this is not it. The talking heads on this show look at everything through their lenses and nothing more. This type of legal discourse is a dis-service to the community.
  • Smundorff
    Makes SCOTUS intelligible
    These three hosts are so smart and entertaining. They somehow make dense legal cases and theories both accessible and enjoyable through their analysis and humor. Highly recommend if you want to keep up with legal news and aren’t sure where to start.
  • Popocole
    No validity.
    It’s just another whine session podcast about some people not getting their way. Legal scholars? This is just another example of stupidity taking over institutions.
  • Grrrlintrouble
    Seeing the Facts Through All of Their Fury
    I hope your former teachers subscribe and brag about you all! Your wit and insight about everything judicial can both comfort and horrify me at times, but it always enlightens me and guides me in my activism. Love it all, law goddesses. Rock on 👊
  • Somerando3751
    Sarcasm and inside jokes instead of facts
    I listened to a couple of episodes in an attempt to become more informed on the USSC’s recent decisions. This podcast is overflowing with sarcasm, inside jokes, and insults of the justices and provides very few facts or legal analysis. I understand that Crooked is a left wing organization, but there is no attempt to discuss facts. A glaring example is the discussion of the student loan decision. They compared student loans to the Covid PPP loans and failed to mention that PPP was passed by congress and student loan forgiveness was an executive order. Are the hosts really that ignorant, or are they pretending to be stupid for the show? I pity the hosts and people that rely on this show for information. They’re wandering the planet confused and disoriented in their own little echo chamber of make believe.
  • Jennieappleseed
    3 Whip Smart Women
    Insightful analysis with the right amount of irreverence. Great podcast! Wish there wasn’t an endless need for their brand of resistance.
  • stvbrown2184
    If your looking for unbiased info; don’t stop here
  • Pod person Kings Cty
    Really wanted to like this
    But there’s so many cringey asides about whatever the hosts are personally into- Taylor Swift, their clothes whatever and petty snark. In general I agree with most of what they say about the horrible implications of some the court’s decisions but maybe just …explain them? Their “takes” are exhausting. I feel the same way about Pod Save the World which I used to love. I want information, not the commentary you would vomit out to your friend after three drinks in a loud bar.
  • yorkiehistorybuff
    My go to women for all thing Supreme Court!
    You women are my heroes!!!! I love your podcast. I taught HS social studies for 33 years with the bulk of my time spent teaching US History & Government in NY. The course is taught junior year and the core curriculum is learning about the Supreme Court & its role in our Constitutional Republic. I am so grateful to have you to continue my education about the SC, but lately, I am so grateful for your righteous rage! I often listen when I’m driving, and I scream along with you. Thanks for your intellect and incredible insight. I recommend you to anyone who wants to understand the travesty that is this court.
  • LobePDX
    Biased, Anti-Intellectual and a bit embarrassing
    You can watch The View and get the same surface, one-sided smugness. If you are looking for a podcast which is informative and fair-minded, check out Advisory Opinion. You won’t agree with everything they state and it is honestly challenging to infer what side of the aisle their political beliefs fall. I believe left of center, but I am uncertain, which makes it a great listen. Do not waste your precious listening minutes here.
  • majawat
    Over my head
    In-depth discussion about cases, justices, and the court from a progressive (and reality-based) view. But it’s difficult to follow unless you know the legal shorthand of case names, precedents, and theories. It’s less like listening to an informed discussion where you learn a lot and more like hearing constitutional law experts make inside jokes you don’t understand. Not for the casual court watcher without a legal degree.
  • Wirdznerds
    Condescending “humor”
    I thought this podcast would be educational but they lost me with their immature, snarky and condescending attitude towards anything not to the left. What a shame they don’t stick to analyzing cases without the overt political spin.
  • Desperately seeking law
    Is this a legal podcast?
    I’m not sure this is a legal podcast just because they sometimes talk about court cases. Their USSC analysis seems serious at times, but the hosts often devolve into petty, vindictive gossip about Justices Alito, Thomas, and Kavanaugh. And hypothesizing about the personalities and motivations of all of the Justices. So much of the podcast is now unserious complaining, brutal sarcastic shots at judges and Justices, vile and racist cultural appropriation from Professor Litman, and profanity. (Profs. Litman and Murray drop f-bombs so frequently and unpredictably that I can’t listen to the pod in front of my 10 year old daughter.) And it only gets worse. It’s hard to sit through an entire ep with Professor Litman’s near-constant, profane interruptions (not with analysis or insight; just sarcastic (often juvenile and petty) inside jokes about the Justices with whom she disagrees). And her racist attempts at code-switching whenever she talks (often condescendingly, ie, Sandra Bullock Blind Side-level condescension) about Justice Jackson is often unbearable. Who. Do. You. Think. You. Are. Karen???? For an avowed progressive podcast, I’m surprised there hasn’t been blowback from African Americans given how openly racist Prof. Litman is. (Maybe she thinks she’s fine given her one Black friend, Prof. Murray.). Maybe that’s why they’re going to HUSL; of course, unlike with all of the other law schools they visited, they are going to HUSL AFTER classes are over for the year!!! Sounds about right. Also, Prof. Murray, “coalesce” doesn’t have a hard “c” sound at the end. Sorry. Listened to your Moore v. Harper ep, and wanted to be a friend.
  • RRTrent892
    Following forever after quoting Dear John
    Please Swifties—Ctrl H John Mayer with John Roberts
  • Maggiegirl66
    Objectivity in the courts
    The hosts smugly believe that everything they think and say is true and correct just because they think and say it.
  • Wellnesslife
    Scotus Mean Girls
    It’s gone downhill somewhat with too much sarcasm and attempts at wit. It’s become less informative over time as they attempt catchy slogans. The mean spiritedness has become off putting. Update: still boring and unbalanced. The sarcasm is cringier than ever. Very sarcastic all the time about everything. Insightful commentary when they leave out the mean spiritedness. They do a disservice to their listeners by not even attempting to present any alternative to their strong opinions. The hostility is palpable. Update: still always hysterical sarcastic and painful to listen to. More nuance can be found at Advisory Opinions. The vocal fry is just unbearable.
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