The Colorado Switchblade
The Colorado Switchblade
Make sure you have all the legal resources you need to confront the complex array of challenges this election is poised to present, an interview with Georgetown Law ICAP's Special Litigation Counsel.

Make sure you have all the legal resources you need to confront the complex array of challenges this election is poised to present, an interview with Georgetown Law ICAP's Special Litigation Counsel.

Also hear Jason Van Tatenhove on Mea Culpa's podcast first-ever LIVE SHOW recorded at the El Rey Theatre. With comedian, actress, and activist Kathy Griffin & Harry Litman, Host of the Talking Feds.

In today’s episode, we go over the general election here in Larimer County, Colorado, and Estes Park.

I bring on special guest Rupa Bhattacharyya, who is Special Litigation Counsel at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP), to speak about the guidance and resources that ICAP has put out leading up to our midterm elections. These fact sheets go over a broad range of timely election-related topics, from voter intimidation and unauthorized paramilitary activity to video recording at polling places and law enforcement’s role in ensuring safe voter participation, and more. Please find links to all their guidance here and below;

ICAP has partnered with the following organizations the States United Democracy CenterCrime and Justice Institute, and 21CP Solutions, for their collaboration on several of these guidance documents.

  • Fact sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive

  • Fact sheet on voter intimidation laws, what kinds of conduct could constitute voter intimidation, and what to do if you experience voter intimidation

  • Guidance outlining actions election officials can take to address and prevent voter intimidation, including by armed individuals or groups

  • Guidance on law enforcement’s role in ensuring safe voter participation at the polls

  • Guidance on the authority of state government to regulate poll observer conduct

  • Guidance on managing vehicular protests during election season

  • Fact sheet on the “constitutional sheriffs” movement and the limits on sheriffs’ authority to involve themselves in election administration

  • Fact sheet on video recording in or near polling places

  • Guidance for election, law enforcement, and public safety officials to mitigate the threat of political violence throughout an election period.

  • Fact sheet—in response to the increase in threats against public officials and private individuals whose jobs involve election integrity or tabulating and certifying the vote—making clear, with legal support, that threats and incitement to violence are not protected by the First Amendment and violate a number of federal and state criminal laws

  • Un recurso, en español, sobre protección contra la intimidación de votantes

  • Guidance for law enforcement about how to protect election staff and ballots during the vote-counting period while also protecting First Amendment rights during public demonstrations

Immediately before joining the Institute, Rupa served as the Special Master for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), which is administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and compensates those who suffered personal injuries or died as a result of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the rescue and recovery efforts undertaken in their aftermath. In 2019, Rupa was awarded DOJ’s Civil Division’s Michael F. Hertz Memorial Award for Exceptional Professionalism & Outstanding Performance, and in 2020 she was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. She is a 2022 Finalist for the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Service to America Medal, awarded annually by the Partnership for Public Service.

Rupa joined DOJ’s Civil Division in 1996 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, where she defended federal government agencies and employees in claims arising under the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, and other federal statutes. In August 2008, Rupa accepted a Senior Executive Service position as the Deputy Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs at the Department of the Treasury. In that capacity, Rupa supervised a team of attorneys handling legal activities relating to a broad range of international economic, financial, and regulatory matters, and in 2012, received an Exceptional Service Award from the Secretary of the Treasury.

In April 2012, Rupa returned to DOJ as a Director in the Torts Branch, with oversight over the Office of Constitutional and Specialized Tort Litigation. In that capacity, she managed the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program, as well as litigators on the Constitutional Torts staff. She was appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the VCF’s Special Master in July 2016.

Prior to federal service, Rupa served as a law clerk for the Honorable Julia Smith Gibbons, then of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and now of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Rupa graduated from Harvard Law School and has a Master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her undergraduate degree is from Tulane University in her hometown of New Orleans.

I also mention the special live show I was a part of last week in LA with the Mea Culpa podcast, their first-ever LIVE SHOW recorded at the El Rey Theatre on November 1st, 2022. With comedian, actress, and activist Kathy Griffin.

Griffin is a two-time Emmy and Grammy winner who’s been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for writing and starring in an unprecedented 23 televised stand-up specials!!! Griffin has been twice on the New York Times best-seller list and performed for sold-out crowds around the globe. Also joining Michael is Harry Litman, the former US Attorney, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Litman is currently the legal affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a professor of Constitutional Law at UCLA and UCSD. Harry can be seen as a legal and political commentator on CBS, NPR, MSNBC, and CNN. Litman is also the creator and host of the Talking Feds Podcast. To round out our top-shelf lineup is the former national media director for the Oath Keepers, Jason Van Tatenhove. Van Tatenhove testified before the January 6th Committee and is the author of the upcoming book, “The Perils of Extremism …How I Left the Oath Keepers and Why We Should be Concerned about a Future Civil War”. Van Tatenhove has been instrumental in helping the country understand more about the inner workings of extremist para-military groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, and he’s currently hosting his own podcast and writing weekly articles for the Colorado Switchblade. This panel of excellent guests discusses everything from being canceled to what to expect from the midterms. This special episode is hilarious and off the cuff. Enjoy!

You can listen to them by clicking the below links:

Today’s post is sponsored by:

The Colorado Switchblade
The Colorado Switchblade
The Colorado Switchblade slices through the tangled underbrush of legal and political discourse, from the peaks of Estes Park to the national stage, uncovering the pivotal stories and cultural debates that shape our democratic experience. Helmed by Jason Van Tatenhove, this platform fuses compelling narrative with astute political commentary, spotlighting Colorado's local sagas, captivating fiction, and in-depth podcasts. With a keen eye for detail and a storyteller's heart, The Colorado Switchblade carves out a space where every story is told with precision and every analysis cuts to the core.