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FROM THIS EPISODE

We start with a two-part look at the U.S. Supreme Court: First, what are the implications of today’s rulings on cases involving Abercrombie & Fitch and Facebook? Then, an interview with the author of a new study showing that the court’s justices are making more public appearances than ever. Could higher profiles affect their behavior behind the bench? Next, in our regular cars segment, Madeleine looks at California’s move to become the first state to officially endorse lane-splitting by motorcyclists on freeways. Then, author Paolo Bacigalupi discusses his new novel, The Water Knife, which offers a dystopian vision of a post-drought future. Finally, the real-life Colorado River is drying up -- and not only because of the drought. What else is contributing to his demise?

Banner Image Credit: Eric Schmuttenmaer

Producers:
Jolie Myers
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Christian Bordal

Supreme Court Rules in Facebook, Abercrombie & Fitch Cases 9 MIN, 4 SEC

Inside the courtroom, the justices put out two decisions today involving household names: Abercrombie & Fitch and Facebook. In one, they ruled in favor of Muslim woman who wore a headscarf to an interview at an Abercrombie store seven years ago. She didn’t get the job because her hijab clashed with the store’s famously preppy dress code. And today’s ruling could have big implications when it comes to religious rights in the workplace. In the Facebook case, the court ruled that angry -- even threatening -- social media rants are not necessarily criminal.

Guests:
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

Celebrity SCOTUS 7 MIN, 33 SEC

When they’re not deciding cases on the future of our health care and the environment and marriage -- or maybe even when they are -- Supreme Court justices are making a lot more public appearances than they used to. That’s according to a new study. We hear from its author, who also weighs in on how the justices’ extracurricular activities might seep into their decisions behind the bench.

Guests:
Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine (@rickhasen)

Cars: Lane-Splitting and More 8 MIN, 58 SEC

Lane-splitting is something motorcyclists do all the time, whizzing in between cars on freeways. Until now, lane-splitting has been in a legal gray area, not specifically banned or allowed. But California is about to become the first state in the nation to make it explicitly legal. We talk about that and more with our regular guest on all things automotive.

Guests:
Aaron Robinson, Car and Driver magazine

'The Water Knife' 14 MIN, 18 SEC

In Paolo Bacigalupi’s new novel, water is as good as money. Those with it are rich, and those who live in lands that have dried up are destitute. Or dead. The Water Knife paints a picture of a very-near future in which Texans are living in refugee camps in Phoenix and you need a passport to cross into California from Arizona. Madeleine talks to the author about his dystopian vision.

Guests:
Paolo Bacigalupi, author, 'The Water Knife' (@paolobacigalupi)

The Water Knife

Paolo Bacigalupi

Killing the Colorado 7 MIN, 18 SEC

Earlier on the show we heard about happens when the Southwest runs out of water through the lens of dystopian fiction form. But in real life, the Colorado River is in fact drying up. It’s not just the drought; it’s also because of the way we’re using the water. For instance, the government has doled out nearly $1 billion over the past 20 years to cotton farmers in Arizona. Cotton is an incredibly thirsty crop that requires 60% more water than a crop like wheat. How else are we responsible for the drying up of the Colorado?


Photo: Kimberly Vardeman

 

Guests:
Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica (@AbrahmL)

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