Former Alabama Federal Attorney Co-Hosts Popular Political Podcast
When the new #SistersInLaw podcast debuted three weeks after the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol, it reached No. 1 on Apple Podcast’s political charts and placed 13th overall. Joyce Vance and her co-hosts were stunned, she said.
“There is a huge hunger for civic education in this country right now,” Vance said.
People want to understand how government works, or at least how it’s supposed to work.
The weekly podcast was born out of a green chamber friendship between the four women, who were all legal analysts for MSNBC. Vance hosts the show with Boston Globe opinion columnist and lawyer Kimberly Atkins and former federal prosecutors Barb McQuade and Jill Wine-Banks.
The podcast is produced by the company that hosts the annual non-partisan Politicon, an irreverent political conference that debuted in Los Angeles in 2015.
Vance, of Birmingham, was appointed United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama by President Barack Obama in 2009, his first appointment for a woman. She remained in this role until 2017. She created the office’s first civil rights enforcement unit and launched an investigation into inhumane conditions in Alabama prisons in coordination with Vanita Gupta, then chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Ministry of Justice.
Gupta’s appointment as President Biden’s deputy attorney general was blocked in a tie vote last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican senators hammered her for tweeting things about lawmakers they felt were disrespectful. Supporters call it the best choice to face the myriad of battles for voting rights taking place in state houses across the country.
Vance said she and her co-hosts discuss relevant topics every week through the lens of their legal expertise, not partisan scoring.
“We’re more interested in discussing the law and the systems and how things work outside of that political yin-yang. This is what I think people are hungry for, ”she said.
Several of Alabama’s legislative measures were discussed on the show, such as the bill that would ban medical treatment for transgender minors, and voting issues, in which she is particularly interested.
“It is unfortunate that we live in a time when people are using this now fully debunked excuse of preventing fraud as a way to make it harder for people to vote,” she said.
Vance noted that in 2017, President Trump launched the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to investigate voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election. Jefferson County Estates Court Judge, Alan King, was appointed there. The commission dissolved after eight months, finding no proof widespread fraud.
Vance’s experience and knowledge provides local and regional insight to a podcast on pressing national topics.
“We are discussing the kinds of issues that I think are interesting and important to the people of Alabama, as well as backyard chickens and Alabama football,” she said.