Skip to main content

Today’s discussion is with Hayden Thorne.

He is a Kiwi, an aspiring academic, and a legal historian currently undertaking his PhD focused on the United States Supreme Court and the role that legal representation plays in the outcome of significant decisions.

The Supreme Court, its decision making and traditions, the personalities on the Court and the critical role that the Court plays in the US is something that has fascinated me for many years. And I’ve been in search of someone to talk to about the Court for months now and just in the last week or so stumbled upon Hayden.

Of course we talk about the impact of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg – a liberal icon, and powerful voice for woman, minorities, and the disenfranchised.  We look at whether her jurisprudence changed during her tenure or just that the persona and profile grew.  And we briefly consider the importance of conventions and customs concerning the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court justices and what might be lost when these are tossed aside because of the politics of either side.

I was also really keen to talk about the recent series of decisions from the Supreme Court.  These included decisions on LGBTQ employment rights, abortion, and immigration and saw the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice play a critical swing role siding with the Court’s liberal justices to provide a majority.

We talk about these decisions, the composition of the Court, and what it is that Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative, is possibly motivated by.

As President Trump has nominated a replacement to Justice Ginsberg we recall the words of Justice Ginsberg herself saying that Presidents have often been disappointed with their nominations to the Court. Hayden provides a historic perspective and examples of where nominations to the Supreme Court haven’t always panned out as expected.

Links mentioned during the recording:

Host biography:
Jordan Small:
[email protected]

Guest biography:
Hayden Thorne:

For comments and feedback:
Email: [email protected]

Credits – opening and closing music:
Happy Boy Theme Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Leave a Reply