This is Unprecedented.

Unprecedented brings you the legal stories that shape our lives. Twice a week (and sometimes more), we’ll bring you the latest judicial opinions from around the country. We’ll do it with style. We’ll make the law entertaining. Because this stuff matters, and if you want to be an informed citizen, it’s so important to pay attention.

Every day, in courtrooms around the country, human drama plays out. Freedoms are granted, or taken away. And the collective decisions of the judges deciding the cases before them end up affecting us all. Unprecedented is here to help you make sense of it all. We’ll help you understand not just what the nation’s courts are deciding, but how and why they’re reaching those conclusions.

You can also expect regular deep dives on a topic getting a lot of attention — red flag laws, for instance. We’ll give you the context you need to understand the news, and we’ll explain the current state of the law. (Some Republicans say red flag laws violate due process and the 2nd Amendment, but what have the courts said?

Support Unprecedented for $1/week

Unprecedented began its life as a podcast focusing on the accidental guardians of First Amendment. We celebrated the regular people who pushed the boundaries of free speech to secure more rights for all Americans.

The podcast tackles fascinating questions. For instance, do we have a constitutional right to be mean? How mean? Our latest pair of episodes delves into the juicy details of how the First Amendment tackles cruelty. The Dirty Joke that Made It to the Supreme Court examines whether Hustler Magazine had the right to parody the reverend Jerry Falwell; Middle Finger to God explores the Westboro Baptist Church and its penchant for picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers. Four episodes of Unprecedented are currently available for download, with four more to come.

If we do our job right, Unprecedented will give you the information you need to be a good citizen — an informed participant in the great experiment that is America.

And we’ll try to do it all with personality and, when appropriate, pizzazz.

Let’s get started.


Matthew S. Schwartz
Editor, Unprecedented

PS — If you find this newsletter informative, thought-provoking, entertaining, or any combination of the above, please forward it to a friend — and please consider supporting my work with a paying subscription. I really appreciate it.

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Bringing you the legal stories that shape our lives.


Executive Producer of Unprecedented. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan. Contact him at
Michael Vuolo began his career at New York City's public radio affiliate WNYC, where he produced the Peabody Award-winning On the Media.