5-4 describes itself as a podcast about “how much the Supreme Court sucks.” It lives up to this description in its exploration of the many cases that have put politics before good-faith arguments. The podcast is a collaboration between three progressive lawyers who are tired of hearing about the almighty wisdom of the Supreme Court.  Hosts Peter (@thelawboy on Twitter), Rhiannon, and Michael deliver a witty and intelligent look at the ways the Supreme Court fails to deliver decisions that respect the people affected by them. 5-4 is intent on revealing the biases, shortsightedness, and disregard for marginalized people at the heart of the Supreme Court.

5-4 examines a different Supreme Court case in each episode, covering issues such as voting rights, gun laws, eminent domain, and stop-and-frisk. However, the hosts’ progressive politics and irreverence towards the Court remain consistent throughout each episode. The podcast’s strong leftist political stance may be a turn-off for some listeners, but its sharp criticism of both liberal and conservative justices is a rare and welcomed perspective.

 One of modern history’s most pivotal elections is quickly approaching, and several justices are nearing the end of their Supreme Court tenure. In such a turbulent time, 5-4 brings much-needed attention to the influence, consequences, and politics of the nation’s highest court. The podcast wants you to know what’s at stake this November. While we rarely hear about the Supreme Court, its decisions have a large influence on the lives of millions of Americans, especially the most marginalized among us. If we want to protect those lives, 5-4 argues that we need to understand how this presidential election will determine the politics of the Court for decades.

With its sharp analysis, humor, and ability to avoid getting bogged down in legal jargon, this podcast is both accessible and enjoyable. 5-4 is the best podcast of 2020 and couldn’t have come at a better time. 

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Episode: “Terry v. Ohio”

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