Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed new all-star panelist and the Director of Litigation for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, Braden Boucek in studio to talk about his background and role.
Leahy: We welcome into our studio for the first time as a guest all-star panelist Mr. Braden Boucek, who is the director of Litigation for the Southeastern Legal Foundation. Welcome, Braden. Thanks for joining us here today.
Boucek: Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. I hope we make a habit of it. I don’t know if I can really do justice in standing for Crom, but it’s great to be here.
Leahy: (Chuckles) The original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. So you have a fascinating background we’re just talking about a little bit. You live here in Middle Tennessee. Director of Litigation for the Southeastern Legal Foundation. And this has been around since, what, the 1970s?
Boucek: Yes. Our organization has been around since the 1970s.
Leahy: I personally think you’re the 900-pound gorilla in the area of defending individual liberties in terms of public interest law firms. Very important to have that.
The left has groups like this all over the place. And I think the Southeastern Legal Foundation is the premier conservative legal foundation out there.
Boucek: I deeply appreciate the compliment, but it’s very important that conservatives are fighting the war for individual liberty in the courtrooms. I tell people all the time if we aren’t comfortable fighting for our rights in the courtroom and the other side is, we’re very much like an army that doesn’t have an air force.
They’re fighting in three dimensions, and we’re limiting ourselves to two. So the courtroom is a very important front on this battlefield.
Leahy: You are a Middle Tennessee native.
Boucek: I actually am. I’m an original Nashvillian born and bred, as hard as that is to believe.
Leahy: You attended the University School of Nashville.
Boucek: Proud Tiger.
Leahy: A proud Tiger.
Boucek: Great school.
Leahy: Way back when.
Boucek: Way back when. Way back when. 1994, actually.
Leahy: About 10-15 years ago, I organized a lacrosse team for my daughter. We played at Independence High School. She said, Dad, I want to play lacrosse. They didn’t have a team, so we organized a team.
And I was, for the first year, the coach for the high school girls’ lacrosse team. I’ve never played lacrosse in my life. I was a mid-50-year-old guy who grew up playing football in the 70s. Let me just say this.
One of the great learning experiences of life is being an old guy coaching girls’ lacrosse in high school. They approach it differently. They’re much more collegial, much more friendly oriented. And, of course, the guys are out there.
Go get them! Go get them! The girls want to be social. And I was a referee for a period of time. And so we would play against the University School of Nashville. They were a very good lacrosse team.
Boucek: They don’t have a football team, so a lot of that talent has to go somewhere. I was actually there when they started the lacrosse team. That happened during my tenure here.
Leahy: And by the way, women’s and boys’ lacrosse is a great sport. Women’s lacrosse is a great sport. I really loved doing it, but I got old. (Laughs)
Boucek: You saying that you started a lacrosse team in your mid-50s, like, makes me hurt as a 47-year-old man. I feel joints seizing up.
Leahy: The real hard part of it was, in order to learn the game, I became a referee, and I would referee games and go over Middle Tennessee. And I can tell you that you feel the age when you’re out there on the field as a referee.
It came to a point both my girls were out of high school and I had to turn over the reins of the lacrosse club and retire the referee cleats because, you know, I was slowing down a bit.
Boucek: I think that was wise. It’s always invigorating to see a man of advancing years throwing caution to the wind. (Leahy laughs) I went out for a short run yesterday, and I woke up this morning, I felt like I got hit by a truck.
Leahy: One thing about the University School of Nashville, great as it is, it’s got a particular political perspective, it seems to me.
Leahy: Which is not, shall we say, the political perspective that you and I share right now.
Boucek: I would tend to agree with that observation. That was true in the 90s when I was there as well.
Leahy: Were you able to overcome that, or did you just naturally always have a more conservative perspective?
Boucek: I think that’s when I sort of started to acquire my conservative perspective. There’s a lot of uniformity of thought over there, and of course, it’s all in the name of diversity.
(Leahy chuckles) And I think that’s when I started to question homogeny being marketed as diversity, that’s the emergence of my conservative countercultural sensibilities.
Leahy: You’ve been a troublemaker for some time, Braden.
Boucek: Oh, well, thank you for saying so. (Leahy laughs) Honored to be a troublemaker at Southeastern Legal Foundation. And prior to that, I was a troublemaker for the Beacon Center.
Leahy: Yes, that’s how we first got to know you at the Beacon Center.
Boucek: That’s right.
Leahy: What does a director of Litigation for the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which is headquartered down in Atlanta, so you have an office down there. You’ll go down there occasionally, but then you also work at it here in Middle Tennessee.
What does the director of litigation do, and are you overwhelmed with people that say, help us, help us, help us?
Boucek: The latter question is undoubtedly true. We are inundated at this moment because I think in so many ways, we’re in the middle of a slowly unfolding constitutional crisis and Americans are more aware of that than they’ve ever been in a long time.
But the director of litigation, it’s got a fancy job description. But the shorthand way I explain it to people is that I get to sue the government when it does annoying things that hurt people.
Leahy: Usually the federal government.
Boucek: We do a lot of federal work. We do state work as well. At the Beacon Center, we did not do any federal work, but at Southeastern Legal, we do federal work as well.
Leahy: Isn’t that the whole theme of, I don’t know, the past 20 years of accelerating under my words, not yours, the Biden maladministration, where what you see is our traditional constitutional separation of powers and checks and balances, where the judicial branch has its role, the legislative branch has its role, and the executive has its role.
Now, we’ve seen on steroids the deep state, the bureaucrats within the executive branch, and the president usurping the official authority of the states and individuals by writing these executive orders and grabbing powers that are not found in the Constitution.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Braden Boucek” by The Federalist Society. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Clyde Robinson. CC BY 2.0.