If You Listen to One Podcast This Year. . .
make it “This American Life” on presidential power and the administrative state. I know I’ve plugged a lot of podcasts on these pages, but this was the most exceptionally clear portrait of the intersection of law and politics that I have ever heard on radio. As an admin law prof who relishes stories of obscure agencies, this segment was particularly compelling to me:
Ira Glass tells the story of a little-known treaty dispute with far-reaching ramifications for our understanding of executive power. The dispute is between the President and one of his appointees…to the International Boundary Commission with Canada. This little-known commission carried out its function without fanfare or incident for over a hundred years, until a couple of retirees in Washington State built a wall in their backyard and, quite literally, set off an international incident.
Other segments, including a Kafkaesque story about ICE (once INS), are positively heart-rending.