ACB confirmation and the 2020 Election with Ilya Shapiro director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute

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Ryan Morfin:

Elliot, welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on today.

Elliot Shapiro:

Good to be with you.

Ryan Morfin:

Welcome to Non-Beta Alpha, I’m Ryan Morfin. On today’s episode we have Elliot Shapiro, constitutional scholar from the Cato Institute, talking to us about the ACB confirmation process and the 2020 elections. This is Non-Beta Alpha. So you’re one of the foremost experts on the Supreme Court and you just wrote a book called Supreme Disorder. I’d love to pick your brain about some of the fundamental shifts that are coming for the judicial top bench chairs, Supreme Court, with the probable nomination in pushing through of ACBs confirmation. Maybe you could start with, do you think she’s going to get through? And then secondly, how is this going to change the Supreme Court going forward?

Elliot Shapiro:

I have no secret discussions with Senators, but Mitch McConnell says that he has the votes. So I have no doubt that she will get through. The final Senate floor vote as expected this coming Monday, and so I imagine she’ll be sworn in Tuesday a week before the election.

Ryan Morfin:

And so, she seems to be a little more conservative than Roberts and maybe Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Would that be an accurate statement or… And how do people look at that? Is it from her, her historical track record at lower courts? Or how do you guys come up with that kind of rating?

Elliot Shapiro:

Yeah, it depends what you mean by conservative. She’s very much like her mentor, the late Justice Scalia for whom she clerked. In terms of originalism and textualism, this came up a lot during her hearings last week, where she explained, you interpret the constitution based on the original public meaning of the version you’re looking at. So it doesn’t mean that you don’t account for technological innovations, it doesn’t mean that you don’t… You discount amendments. No. Each part of the constitution is part of that, but you just… The words don’t change over time. You look at what that meant. And textualism is like originalism for statutes. So the plain meaning of the text of The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act, Sarbanes Oxley, whatever it might be, rather than trying to figure out what the purpose of the law is, or the intent of the legislators, or things like that.

Elliot Shapiro:

So, very much like Scalia in that, as well as on this question of stare decisis, when should courts overturn precedent that’s they think is erroneous? It’s not always, at least Justice Thomas might think it’s always, when there’s erroneous precedent, we overturn it. But Scalia disagreed with him in that. This is not an ideological thing, it’s a prudential consideration. She might be a little softer than Scalia perhaps, but nowhere near Thomas on that. And her views of individual rights versus government power to regulate, also on economic regulations, might differ more to State Governments. But on… When it comes to the Federal Government, again, holding the feet of both the Legislators and the Bureaucrats to the constitutional fire. So more… The outcome’s probably more conservative than Robert is a safe thing to say, because Roberts votes in the strategic manner and tries to be a judicial minimalist rather than an originalist.

Elliot Shapiro:

But the rest of them, it just depends on the case and the issue and how it comes up. But how do we evaluate these things? Yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time reading her law review articles, her judicial opinion. She’s only been on the bench less than three years, but she’s written, I think just under 75 opinions plus joining others. So there is a wealth of stuff to mine there that it’s not from the hearing. In fact, I’ve gone on TV and they’ve asked me, “So, what did we learn from the hearing?” I’m like, “Well, I learned she took French in high school and she and her husband take turns doing the laundry at home because all the professional stuff, there was nothing new from the hearing. It’s good movie theater and I already knew a bunch from the reading.”

Ryan Morfin:

That’s fascinating. Justice Ginsburg, rest in peace, she was one of the more liberal justices. So as this changes the epicenter, if you will, the court, do you think there will be other precedents that will be revisited going forward?

Elliot Shapiro:

So it’s not so much necessarily overturning precedent, it’s the direction of regulation, the type of challenges that are brought in the first place, that get to the court. Fundamentally, as I mentioned, John Roberts, especially given that he’s the Chief Justice and especially that the last couple of years, since Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, Roberts has been the median vote, not the swing. There’s a difference. It’s not that he’s a squishy moderate, like Kennedy, if you will. He’s looking after the court’s institutional reputation as he sees it, making votes, not purely on the legal theory, but on… He feels that he needs to guard the court against charges of illegitimacy, things like that. Assuming Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett, he becomes a superfluous man, he becomes number six. So you can expect a more principal jurisprudence in a whole host of ways.

Elliot Shapiro:

And for example, on criminal justice, Barrett, like Scalia, is… Believes strongly in the constitutional provisions that provide protections for criminal defendants. Scalia was very strong on the fourth and sixth amendment, for example. And she’s had cases on the seventh circuit where I’m sure she’s voted to allow a criminal to go free on a so-called technicality, as Scalia would put it, that you wouldn’t want, but that’s what the constitution demands. So sometimes you have these coalitions of the left and the right against the middle in these sorts of cases. But overall on the margins, when you have five to four decisions, say invalidating an abortion regulation, those might be upheld now. Not overturning Roe V. Wade altogether, not attacking these fundamental principles, but at the margin. What these different areas… It’s not always that Roberts has gone with the progressive, certainly not at all, but in some of these areas, it’s going to be a more principled opinion or decision rather than going in these increments that Roberts favor.

Ryan Morfin:

And I guess there was some big news this week that came out that the Supreme Court decided not to hear a case about Pennsylvania and late voting. Do you think that was the right call and how do you think that’s going to impact the election in terms of just maybe a delay?

Elliot Shapiro:

So most of the litigation that we’ve seen before the election is in safe States, at least as a matter of the Presidential election is concerned. And so you see, you might see headlines out of California, Alabama, a lot of States, but there’s no real question who’s going to win that. Pennsylvania is an exception to that obviously. Wisconsin is another where there’s ongoing litigation over what kinds of ballots can be accepted. Do you need to have a matching signature on a COVID absentee ballot? Or when… This Pennsylvania case is mailed in ballots, the state Supreme Court ruled have to be accepted up to three days after the election, even if they don’t have a postmark on them through an interpretation or a rewriting, really to be less charitable of State Law.

Elliot Shapiro:

So this came up to the Supreme Court, not on the merits, they didn’t have argument, they didn’t have full briefing. It was an application to stay… To temporarily stop the state Supreme Court opinion and the court was four to four, meaning that the state ruling holds. Doesn’t necessarily mean that John Roberts, who obviously in this scenario joined the more liberal justices that he would vote that way on the merits, but at least at this procedural junction, did not want to rock the boat. If Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett, which way would she rule? I mean, she’s in a tough spot. The President put her in a tough spot because he said that, “Yeah, I’m nominating her because then she’s going to vote my way and all these election cases.”

Elliot Shapiro:

It doesn’t mean that she has to recuse. There’s a lot of hot op-eds and pundits saying, “Oh, that means she [inaudible 00:00:11:07]” no, no, no. The President putting her in a tight spot, it doesn’t mean that she has to recuse, but it does become awkward, particularly if John Roberts maintains his position with the liberals. But he might not necessarily, he’s hoping that the case never eventually gets to the Supreme Court or that Pennsylvania is not a pivotal state, that it’s a landslide or who knows what. That’s his thinking here. But yes, this does show that already, her joining the court as early as a week from now may have an impact on some of these closed cases.

Ryan Morfin:

And you’re in the legal industry as an academic and a tactician, you work at, I think the Cato Institute, are you guys worried that this election is going to be determined in the courts?

Elliot Shapiro:

Everybody is worried about it. We’re looking at issue spotting. A law students know that in their exams, they have to spot these issues and analyze them and so forth. Well, there’s lots of things and it’s not necessarily going to be a Bush V. Gore scenario. That 20 years ago was in Florida about different methods of counting ballots in different counties in Florida. And so, an equal protection argument about voters in different parts of the state being treated differently. The issues now might be completely different. It might be what kinds of mail in ballots are valid? When can they be received? Challenges on election day, whether have some arguments of voter suppression, voter fraud, you never know in what form these sorts of issues might come up. And by the way, if the court is four to four or if, whether because she’s not confirmed or because she’s recused, it doesn’t mean that that’s a constitutional crisis.

Elliot Shapiro:

It just means the lower federal or state court decision stands. And the loser of that, isn’t going to be any happier to lose there then than at the Supreme Court for that matter. But yeah, absolutely. There’s going to be a concern, particularly given the low levels of social trust by people on both sides, that if it’s a close election that gets litigated, it might not get to the Supreme Court. But regardless, these legal issues, the people on the ground, political operatives talk about needing to win the race beyond the margin of litigation. And certainly that would be healthier for the country not to have this uncertainty period, given this level of social trust. That’s below even where we were during Bush V. Gore.

Ryan Morfin:

And I’m not as familiar with the system. So, if the state courts… The Supreme Court is tied four, four and say, Pennsylvania is now contested, there would have been a state court or the state Supreme Court that would have made the determination on who wants Pennsylvania?

Elliot Shapiro:

It depends. In this particular case, that was in the news this week, it went through the state court system in Pennsylvania, because it was an interpretation of the state constitution or state election law. A lot of these challenges, including in Bush V. Gore, go through the federal system because you’re making a claim under the federal constitution or the violation of some federal voting rights statute, something like that. So it could come up through either, it could come up through both. There could be parallel litigation about state and federal issues coming out of the same state. And just to be clear, in the federal system, that means, let’s say in Pennsylvania, if somebody files a case in the Federal District Court in Philadelphia, that gets appealed to one of the regional circuit courts, in this case, the third circuit, which has a panel of three judges and then they can meet all of them. I think there’s 13 judges all tolled in the 13th… In the third circuit, they would make a decision. And from there you can appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ryan Morfin:

So if there’s multiple States that are all going through this process, what party has better infrastructure in terms of legal support? Or are they both pretty well endowed in terms of lawyers who will do this for free or funding mechanisms? How does that work?

Elliot Shapiro:

Yeah, litigation’s a lot cheaper than running a Presidential election campaign. So I’m sure there’s going to be money leftover. And there certainly is legal talent… Enough legal talent on both sides to handle that. I don’t think that’s going to be a limiting principle, but since you mentioned the possibility of litigation coming from different places, that might be on different issues. So it’s not the case that just because a Florida court rules one way and a Pennsylvania court rules a different way, it doesn’t mean that Supreme Court has to jump in to decide who is right. The issues might be completely different. They might be state issues for one thing, one under the federal Florida constitution, one under Pennsylvania, or there could be in one place, an allegation of fraud, and another case, some shenanigans with mail in ballots. Totally different issue. The Supreme Court might decide to hear one, not the other, for complicated reasons.

Ryan Morfin:

I have a feeling this winter Americans are going to get extreme education on state’s rights constitutions and the federal process. Is going to be very educational. Hopefully doesn’t wreck our economy.In 2000, the stock market dropped over five weeks by 10% and we didn’t have COVID, so it could be an interesting time. Well, in your book that is coming out, Supreme Disorder, you talk about some of the issues around judicial nominations, and the Kavanaugh nomination was quite ugly on both sides. Is this new in American politics, or is this just some of history repeating.

Elliot Shapiro:

There’re some things that are new, there’re some things that are different. So I wrote my book. I’ve long been thinking about doing a Supreme Court book and in the wake of the Kavanaugh process two years ago, it crystallized to me that we’re really in this toxic environment, the Supreme Court is in… Enveloped in the same toxic cloud as the rest of our public discourse. Well, how did we get here? And I don’t just mean going back to Clarence Thomas or Robert Bork, clearly there’s stuff before that. What lessons can we learn was, what can we do? What should we do going forward? And it turns out politics has always been part of the nomination and confirmation process. I’m not making a point about the court itself or judges or justices themselves acting as politicians.

Elliot Shapiro:

That’s a separate issue of jurisprudence or political science. I’m talking about the nomination confirmation process. George Washington had a nominee rejected. Half or more of our Presidents have had problems filling seats and it’s a delicate dance between the President, the Senate, but all of whom are politicians, obviously, outside interest groups of various kinds. It’s changed over the years, understandably. In the early Republic, it’s the capital left Federalists who want a strong new National Government versus the Democratic Republicans that emerged, the bitter Adams Jefferson fight, which involved court packing, court slashing, creation of lower court, all sorts of political shenanigans. Then of course the run up to the Civil War, Jacksonian Populism, there’s different issues. Politics obviously is always there, but plays a different role. What’s different now is that, so on the one hand, you have a very powerful Federal Government that’s aggrandized itself over the decades.

Elliot Shapiro:

And a lot of these decisions end up being resolved in the courts, not even in Congress. So the court itself and each justice is very powerful because they’re ruling on so many big political controversies. And then you have the culmination of several trends where, different interpretive theories map onto partisan preferences at a time when the parties are more ideologically sorted than they’ve been since, at least the Civil War. And so powerful seats, zero sum game with no compromise possible, you’re going to have these fraught situations whenever there’s a vacancy. And especially when there’s divided government. So when the Senate and the White House are controlled by different parties, we actually haven’t had a set of hearings during a time of divided government since Clarence Thomas, nearly 30 years ago. That’s why his we’re so contentious. Merrick Garland four years ago, of course didn’t get a hearing, but that divided government situation is why he wasn’t confirmed. Historically that united versus divided government gets you most of the way in predicting whether a given nominee will be confirmed

Ryan Morfin:

And it’s interesting because there’s sound bites from both sides of what’s fair and what’s not fair, to talk about Garland not getting a hearing. Historically looking at the court, Trump said this in the first debate, “I’ve got four years to my term.” Historically speaking, is this normal for Trump to push this through now? Or do you think historical annotation in context would show that he historically should’ve waited before or after the election?

Elliot Shapiro:

So let’s be clear. This is all a political argument to be made and charges of Senators on both sides being hypocrites, politicians flip-flopping, that’s obviously nothing new either. Just on the statistics, there have been 30 election year vacancies in the Supreme Court. This is the 30th now. Every single time the President has made a nomination, okay? So that’s what Trump should do or what Presidents historically have done. In terms of confirming them, during times of United government, 17 of 19 have been confirmed. During divided government, that leaves 10, if you’re doing the math, only two of the 10 have been confirmed. One of those in the lame duck after the election.

Elliot Shapiro:

So just knowing nothing else about the political moment, or the candidates, or the nominees, you would expect in 2020 for there to be a confirmation and in 2016 for there not to be. Just based on that history and the sheer political argument of it all. Now, if voters want to make their decisions based on who’s being a bigger hypocrite or who’s doing something appropriate or not, that’s perfectly fine, but that’s the argument that the Senators and the President are making.

Ryan Morfin:

Well that’s fascinating context. That really helps me make my personal opinion. Earlier on, Trump, when he was a candidate, made a list of potential candidates that he planned to a point to the Supreme Court. Will Biden do this? Has he done this? Should Presidential candidates do this? What are your thoughts on that?

Elliot Shapiro:

Well, clearly he’s not. We’re less than two weeks away from the election and he hasn’t released a list. It looks like he’s not going to. That was part of the reason for Trump updating or expanding his list in early September, was to put even more pressure on Biden to release a list, and Biden didn’t succumb to that pressure and might’ve taken some hits for it, but decided that he didn’t need to. And it’s not necessarily surprising historically, putting out a list four years ago, what Trump did, was an innovation. This is not something that is conventionally done. It had never been done because the conventional political wisdom is, that means you put targets on the backs of these people that you list, whether for the cabinet or potential Supreme Court justices, whomever. You’re also tying yourself to whatever negative aspects of all of these people might come out.

Elliot Shapiro:

It’s just… Why do that? Why give something for your opposition to attack? Trump needed to do it four years ago because there were serious doubts of his ideology, who would he appoint? He’d been pro choice, he donated to Democrats, what does he know about the Supreme Court? But he put out a list that was basically the same that constitutional conservative, Ted Cruz would have put out and really held the Republican coalition together. It has proved pivotal in key swing States because the margin was so narrow. He didn’t have to expand that list this year. I think he did to reward some people, not all the people he added were really serious contenders. There were political reasons for the list. Again, not surprisingly, and to put pressure on Biden. All Biden has said is that he won’t… He’s going to appoint a black woman.

Elliot Shapiro:

And he wants someone who views the constitution as a living document. So this is basically the opposite of originalism. This is the idea that the words on the page change over time based on our political culture, our conception of justice, that sort of thing. And well, with those two things, you get an idea of the types of people that he’s going to appoint. And the Republicans have tried to make hay out of that certainly. Historically Republicans have generally run on judges, run on the court, much more than Democrats because their articulation of it generally polls better, at least among swing voters.

Ryan Morfin:

And so the toxic environment that we’re in, is there some structural proposals to maybe depoliticize the process that candidates have to go through? I feel that just in politics, certain people don’t want to put their families through this process and we may not be always getting the best foot forward as a country. What are your thoughts on that?

Elliot Shapiro:

Yeah, in the third part of my book, like Gall, my book is divided in three, the past, the present and the future. And in that third part, I discuss all sorts of reforms that have been proposed. I’m most amenable to term limits. And I say amenable, not like three chairs, maybe one and a half chairs. Because, if you had, say an 18 year limit with a vacancy every two years, that would at least get rid of these morbid health watches over octogenarian justices or politically timed retirements, that sort of thing. We’d have some regularity and standardization in the process, which would increase public confidence, but A, it wouldn’t change the ideological balance of the court and it wouldn’t affect the courts power and its ruling on all these big issues that I mentioned earlier. And it would take a constitutional amendment. There’s been legislation proposed, but I think that’s too cute by half.

Elliot Shapiro:

So, if we had the political unity for a constitutional amendment, then we might not have the underlying tension in the first place. Other reform proposals expanding the court, there’s that kind of what’s talked about now, the purely political expansion of the court to “Remedy the Republican hijacking of the court.” But even if you take away that kind of political salience, maybe in the abstract, if you are creating a constitution of fresh, you would want a larger court. Because there would be fewer 10 to nine decisions say than five to four ones that we have now. And each one of 19 seats is worth less and therefore the battle will be less than each one of nine. Maybe that’s an interesting thing to discuss academically, but that’s not where we are realistically. And how do you transition from whatever from now to whatever the ideal number is without this hugely political component.

Elliot Shapiro:

And every time that the courts changed shape in our history, whether successfully or failed proposals to pack the court, like FDR in the thirties, that has not entered to the nation’s benefit nor to the benefit of the party, that’s proposed them. I mean, Roosevelt, after being reelected in a landslide in 1936, ended up proposing this thing that was really unpopular. His vice President was against it, his big legal advisor, Justice Louis Brandeis, big progressive was against it. The Democrats ended up losing 80 seats in the house and eight in the Senate at the next midterms. But years later, Roosevelt got to pack the court the old fashioned way by keeping power and eventually, just by 1941 had appointed seven Justices. So, then there’s more creative proposals. A lottery or a college of justices where there are no permanent justices and you just rotate through lower court judges by chance.

Elliot Shapiro:

And it cannot be no more than five of appointed by the President from any one party. That’s kind of… You have a zigzag in jurisprudence at that point and you push down these toxic battles to the lower courts even more than they are now. There’s all sorts of proposals. Some creatives, some have more merit, some less, at the end of the day, this is nibbling around the edges. This is addressing the symptoms. It’s trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic because the problem is not with the confirmation process, it’s with the product. It’s what the court’s ruling on, it’s the power of the Federal Government. The Titanic is the ship of state.

Elliot Shapiro:

The only way in the longterm or substantively to depoliticize, detoxify, lower the heat on these battles is to rebalance our constitutional order by pushing power back to the States and localities and the people. And within Washington, our separation of powers, making that neater and to force Congress to resolve more of these political controversies rather than punting them into the administrative state. Now, I say this knowing that that’s not an easy thing, let alone a quick thing either. So I have no magic bullets or overnight solution. It’s taken us decades to get to where we are both in terms of jurisprudence and in terms of the toxic confirmation battles. And I think it’s going to take us decades to unwind.

Ryan Morfin:

And for the layman that… For most of us, including myself, that isn’t a legal scholar, Pence was really harping on the VP debate about Biden packing the court. And you mentioned that Roosevelt did this, is this expanding the number of seats or what are your thoughts on [crosstalk 00:28:29].

Elliot Shapiro:

It’s not a legal term, it’s a political term of art. Court packing means expanding the court, adding seats for political reasons typically, is how that phrase is used. It’s not, as some Democrats have called it, filling the seats that are there and using every procedural trick that Mitch McConnell has to fill those seats. That’s just hardball politics in filling seats. Court packing is adding seats. And of course, Biden is being coy about whether he’d do it. He was against it in the primaries, now he doesn’t want to anger his base nor upset independents or swing voters who are generally against court packing.

Elliot Shapiro:

And it’s unclear whether necessarily the Democrats would do it because in the scenario where they could, that is, Biden wins and the Democrats win a majority in the Senate, that majority would be based on new Senators from States like potentially North Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Arizona, with those new Senators one of their first acts to be to vote to remove the filibuster. There’s still a filibuster for legislation, 60 votes you need to surpass to go to a final vote on a piece of legislation, which expanding court would be. And then to actually add those seats, they might go for the green new deal or even DC statehood or something like that before they went to pack the court.

Ryan Morfin:

Well, that makes sense. Well, thank you for that explanation because I wanted to get that clarified. I think some people have a misinterpretation but, so it’s adding new seats just to get the majority back. Wow. That would be, I think a very bad outcome for the Democrats if they did that just like, I guess, historical footnotes suggest. Well, I guess I do have one more final question. So Trump, in his speech last night, was calling for Hunter Biden to be prosecuted and all this and the AG Barr has been putting a pretty difficult situation. Have we ever been in a situation where the progeny of a candidate has been put in the spotlight like this? Where there could be charges that are being held? Cause I guess the DOJ and FBI don’t want to go ahead and prosecute a case during an election campaign to effect the outcome. Similar to what happened in 2016, right? With the Aberdeen laptop and the Wiener situation in New York city. Are we in unchartered waters?

Elliot Shapiro:

I don’t think there’s been cases with family members. There are certainly been cases with a political allies that have been investigated for that matter. There was a Supreme Court nominee in 1920, Harlan Stone, who was… As Attorney General was investigating part of the Teapot Dome scandal under Harding, was making some investigations that were… Made him unpopular in the Senate. And so they had a special hearing just about that investigation. We didn’t always, for that matter, we didn’t always have hearings. It took a very controversial nomination in 1916, the first Jewish nominee, Louis Brandeis, who was also a big crusading, progressive. They decided to hold hearings for the first time, but it was seen as unseemly for the nominee himself to testify.

Elliot Shapiro:

So his supporters and opponents who testified probably the most contentious confirmation process we’ve had. Obviously we don’t have the video records of what went on and the tweets and all of that, but took longer than any other confirmation. And after Brandeis was finally confirmed, another justice resigned to run against Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential election. So if you’re thinking about the intertwining of Presidential politics and the Supreme Court, I see year 2020 in 2016 and raise you in 1916.

Ryan Morfin:

That’s some fascinating history, I’m going to have to brush up on it. Well, so this is the last few questions of our show. We call it the human factor. I asked the same six questions of all of our guests on season two. And they’re really just a yes, no answer. Just to get a survey on some questions I think people care about. So first question is, if there was a COVID vaccine available today, would you take it? Yes or no? Second question is who do you think wins the election? November 3rd or January 20th?

Elliot Shapiro:

The Presidential, smart money is on Biden.

Ryan Morfin:

Okay. What type of shape are we in terms of economic recovery? If at all.

Elliot Shapiro:

I’m a simple constitutional lawyer so much as I wouldn’t take your legal advice, I don’t even want to hazard saying something that’ll make me a laughingstock and discredit everything that I’ve said, to your very economically savvy advisors. So I’m going to dodge that one, Ryan.

Ryan Morfin:

No problem. No problem. Is there anything that you achieve this summer while you were on quarantine that you’re particularly proud of? Any projects or books or?

Elliot Shapiro:

Well, my book, the manuscript was due the end of March. So I finished that up just as the pandemic hit. The editing of it was certainly in the high summer. I think we finally went to press the end of July, but yeah, putting that to bed and then preparing excerpts to be published and all that, this whole book writing and selling process was certainly my… For the last year, half pandemic half not, that’s been my baby.

Ryan Morfin:

That was fantastic. Are there any silver linings that you see in the economy going into 2021?

Elliot Shapiro:

Well, it seems like the recession that we’ve had is driven by the pandemic. So I’m hoping, again, I don’t want to get too far ahead of my skis knowing that the listeners actually know something about the economy and different industries and what have you. My hope is that once the pandemic is under control, whether because of therapeutics, or a vaccine, or a better testing regime, or what have you, but we can pick up where we left off in addition to the various innovation that’s happened in the meantime.

Ryan Morfin:

Absolutely. And the last question is, is there anything that you’re watching, listening to or reading right now, that’s shaping your thinking that you would advise our listeners to pay attention to?

Elliot Shapiro:

Well, I don’t know if you want to hear that I enjoyed watching Cobra Kai on Netflix. I’m not sure that’s shaping my thinking, although it did give me some nice warm and fuzzy nostalgia for the 80s. I’m just trying to get through this confirmation process and the election and trying to catch my breath after that. Typically spend the Thanksgiving break reevaluating and yeah, that’s when I’ll be catching my breath.

Ryan Morfin:

There’s a bar in Brooklyn I highly advise you to go visit called Cobra Kai. And it is decked out in Cobra Kai paraphernalia. I think it was one of the child actors that set up the bar so it’s a good, good tip for the Cobra Kai bars.

Elliot Shapiro:

[inaudible 00:35:25] I’ll be sure to sweep the leg.

Ryan Morfin:

There you go. Sweep the leg. I love that. That’s a good show. Well, Elliot, thanks for coming on and educating us on some of the history and where can people find your book Supreme Disorder?

Elliot Shapiro:

Absolutely. Anywhere where books are sold, whether online or in bookstores. And beyond that, if you go to Supreme Disorder.com, not only will you find various links to places that sell books, but you can download for free, like a 20 page PDF appendix of statistics and historical tidbits. You can really nerd out on all of the confirmation processes, historically, some of the lower court stuff that’s happened in the last couple of decades, really make yourself popular at your next virtual cocktail party.

Ryan Morfin:

Fantastic. I’ll be sure to do that. I do love this kind of history. I’ve never heard of the Teapot Dome scandal, but I’m going to go a Google that later. Elliot, thanks for coming on the show and we hope to have you back on at some point in the future.

Elliot Shapiro:

My pleasure it’s been a blast, Ryan.

Ryan Morfin:

Thank you. Thanks for watching Non-Beta Alpha. And before we go, please remember to like, and subscribe on Apple podcasts and our YouTube channel. This is Non-Beta Alpha, and now, you know.

 

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