Bucky Badger with UW Law faculty.

Wisconsin Law in Action: A University of Wisconsin Law School Podcast

Episode 29: Nina Varsava, Precedent, Reliance, and Dobbs

Photo of Prof. Nina Varsava. She is wearing glasses and a navy blue suit.

A remotely-recorded podcast interview with Assistant Professor of Law Nina Varsava (SSRN; Law Repository) to discuss her forthcoming law review article.

Prof. Varsava (@NinaVarsava)’s newest article is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review and is titled “Precedent, Reliance, and Dobbs”.

The article examines treatment of stare decisis in the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs majority opinion focusing on its approach to reliance. The article argues that the justices’ refusal to recognize the reliance interest at stake is inconsistent with the Court’s previously prevailing stare decisis doctrine and is also mistaken as a matter of first principles, undermining basic rule of law values.

Prof. Varsava also discusses her background and how she got interested in studying stare decisis- she completed a multidisciplinary PhD along with her JD and focused on the topic. She also had first hand experience with precedent in working as a state Supreme Court clerk.

The new paper talks about reliance interests in stare decisis and Prof. Varsava explains how this is important for society- people can rely on the decisions as stable expectations. When courts overturn these decisions, it throws off expectations and people can no longer rely on these important decisions.

When a court like SCOTUS decides whether to overturn a case like Roe (which they did in Dobbs), they have to weigh the reliance factor and how much people have been relying on this precedent.

Prof. Varsava then goes into detail on the Dobbs situation and the reliance interests involved in the case.

The interview was conducted on Dec. 19, 2023. | 28:03 minutes; published January 23, 2023. Transcript file (PDF).

Links to the Podcast: Soundcloud | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher

Episode 28: Nyamagaga Gondwe and the Tax-Invisible Labor Problem

Photo of Prof. Nyamagaga Gondwe. She is standing in front of the Law School library interior. She is a Black woman wearing a white blouse and maroon head scarf.

A remotely-recorded podcast episode with Assistant Professor of Tax Law Nyamagaga Gondwe (SSRN; Law Repository).

Prof. Gondwe (@NyamagagaRachel) discusses her forthcoming article, “The Tax-Invisible Labor Problem: Care, Work, Kinship, and Income Security Programs in the IRC.

Prof. Gondwe talks about how income security programs fail to recognize non-market care labor that is primarily undertaken by women. These financial assistance programs have increasingly shifted to require evidence of labor market participation as a criteria for eligibility and this failure to recognize the in-home care work puts an even greater strain on women’s economic lives. Prof. Gondwe relies on several texts in the article including “All Our Kin” by Carol Stack (1970) and “From Here to Equality” by William Darity & A. Kirsten Mullen (2020).

The interview was conducted on October 27, 2022. | 33:50 minutes; published November 21, 2022. Transcript file (PDF).

Links to the Podcast: Soundcloud | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher

Episode 27: Robert Yablon and Gerrylaundering

Photo of Prof. Rob Yablon. He is wearing a suit with a blue tie.

A remotely-recorded podcast interview with Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the State Democracy Research Initiative at the University of Wisconsin Law School Robert Yablon (SSRN; Law Repository).

Prof. Yablon (@RobYablon) discusses his newest article, “Gerrylaundering”, recently published in the NYU Law Review. This article introduces the concept of “gerrylaundering” in order to best describe voting district mapmakers’ best efforts to lock in their favorable position by preserving key elements of their existing maps. The article then applies the new term to the existing redistricting discourse to describe how people in power can use this strategy to cement their hold on power in a less radical manner than outright gerrymandering.

Prof. Yablon also discusses how he became interested in this topic and how it’s relevant to Wisconsin, as well as how he came up with the concept of “gerrylaundering” and how it relates to and is different from gerrymandering. He also gives a brief history of gerrymandering. He finishes up the discussion by talking about the techniques that mapmakers use in “gerrylaundering” and comparing them to gerrymandering efforts.

The interview was conducted on July 28, 2022. | 24:26 minutes; published August 25, 2022. Transcript file (PDF).

Links to the Podcast: Soundcloud | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher

Episode 26: Mark Sidel and Restriction of NGOs

Photo of Prof. Mark Sidel, in black suit with maroon tie in front of grey background.

A remotely-recorded podcast interview with University of Wisconsin Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs Mark Sidel (SSRN; Law Repository).

Prof. Sidel begins by describing his professional experience and interest in nonprofits and philanthropic organizations- he originally worked with the Ford Foundation before becoming a law professor. He helped lead the program in China, Vietnam, and India/South Asia in the early-mid 1990s.

Prof. Sidel’s academic interests have also focused on Asia and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). He gives an explanation of NGOs and common terms related to NGOs before beginning the discussion of two of his recent articles on the increasing tendency of governments to restrict foreign investments, grants, and donations to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in those countries.

Both of these papers (“Overseas NGOs and Foundations and Covid in China“; “Securitizing Overseas Nonprofit Work in China: Five Years of the Overseas NGO Law Framework and Its New Application to Academic Institutions“) focus on these policies in China but also touch on other countries and provide a review of the implications of these policies.

The interview was conducted on April 15, 2022. | 29:19 minutes; published April 25, 2022. Transcript file (PDF).

Links to the Podcast: Soundcloud | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher