Post Reports

One conservative's quest to reshape U.S. courts

Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg discuss the man reshaping the federal judiciary. Laura Meckler examines the power of a high school’s controversial mock funeral. And Jennifer Hassan dissects a new form of British protest.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

The conservative reshaping American courts
Leonard Leo, vice president of the Federalist Society, is more than just a Washington nonprofit executive. Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg discuss how, behind the scenes, Leo has become one of the most influential figures in a decades-long campaign to move the federal judiciary to the right.

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‘This is why these kids can’t learn’
This year, Frederick Douglass High School in Atlanta tried an unusual strategy to help students dealing with trauma in their lives: a mock funeral held in the school gymnasium, offering youths a time and place to symbolically bury their pain.

The students were asked to write essays about what was holding them back.

“Some of them were sort of routine teenage things, and some of them were not routine at all,” education reporter Laura Meckler says. The youths were dealing with depression, domestic and sexual violence, family members in prison, hunger, homelessness.

The mock funeral is one example of “social emotional learning” — based on the idea that, rather than simply drilling students on math and reading, schools should take a role in educating the “whole child.” Data suggests well-designed programs can make a difference. Whether the funeral program in Atlanta will work is a more complicated question.

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The milkshake protests
Protesters are targeting British politicians ahead of Thursday’s European Union election with an unusual weapon of choice: milkshakes. Far-right leader Nigel Farage has had a milkshake thrown at him, as have UK Independence Party candidate Carl Benjamin and former English Defense League leader Tommy Robinson.

“When you're standing around with a milkshake, you look a bit more inconspicuous than if you were standing there holding an egg,” says Jennifer Hassan of The Post’s London bureau. “To see somebody standing around holding a beverage — you don't automatically assume that they're about to tip that or pour that all over somebody.”

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.