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FEATURING ELIE MYSTAL - President Joe Biden’s recent nomination of Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is unprecedented. There has never before been a Black woman nominated to the nation’s highest court—a court that is the final arbiter of how the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the laws of the nation are applied. Yet Biden’s nomination is likely to make little difference in the larger balance of power on the court, given that the opinions of the six conservative justices will still overwhelm the decisions of the three more liberal justices.

In his newly released first book, Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution, legal scholar Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, argues that the founders wrote the original Constitution narrowly and with such haste that they were forced to add on the Bill of Rights to remedy its gaping holes, rather like a “day-one patch” to a piece of prematurely released software.

Sonali Kolhatkar, host of Rising Up With Sonali, spoke with Mystal for YES! Magazine where she works as the racial justice editor. Enjoy this excerpt of the conversation. You can read a transcript and watch a video of the full interview at

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