2019-20 Harlan Institute Consource Virtual Supreme Court

Types:Submission, Tournament, Presentation

Categories:Law, politics & government

Scope:National

Registration Opens
Oct 7, 2019 5:00am
America/New_York

Registration Closes
Apr 30, 2020 5:00am
America/Los_Angeles

The Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) announce their Seventh Annual Virtual Supreme Court Competition. This competition offers teams of two high school students the opportunity to research cutting-edge constitutional law, write persuasive appellate briefs, argue against other students through video chats, and try to persuade a panel of esteemed attorneys during oral argument that their side is correct. This year the competition focuses on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.

The competition is endorsed by the Center for Civic Education’s We The People Competition:

“The Center for Civic Education is excited to endorse the Virtual Supreme Court Competition. The Competition is relevant for high school students studying the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

-Robert Leming, Director, We the People Programs, Center for Civic Education

The Question

Resolved:  

Does it violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools?

This competition has two stages, which mirror the process by which attorneys litigate cases.

Stage One: The Briefing and Oral Arguments

A team of two students will be responsible for writing an appellate brief arguing for either the petitioner or the respondent, as well as completing an oral argument video. The brief and video will be due by February 21, 2020.You can see the winning briefs from 201320142015201620172018, and 2019.

Stage Two: The Tournament

The Harlan Institute and ConSource will select the top teams supporting the Petitioner and Respondent, and seed them for the oral argument semifinals on April 4, 2020. All teams will compete in a virtual oral argument session over Google+ Hangout judged by the Harlan Institute and ConSource. Only teams that submit briefs that fully comply with all of the rules will be considered for oral argument. You can see the video from the 20132014201520162017 2018, and 2019 competitions. The final round of the Virtual Supreme Court Competition will be held in Washington, D.C. The Harlan Institute and ConSource will sponsor the top two teams, and their teachers, for a trip to Washington, D.C. in April 2019 to debate in front of a panel of expert judges, including lawyers, university level debate champions, and legal scholars.

Students are evaluated by legal experts from the Harlan Institute and ConSource on the quality of their arguement at each stage of the competition.
Virtual Supreme Court: Grand Prize – The Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS

Team Award.

The members of grand-prize winning team, the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, and their teacher, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to New York to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2020. This offer is open to U.S. residents only.

Virtual Supreme Court: Second Prize

Team Award.

Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad Mini.

Virtual Supreme Court: Third Prize

Team Award.

Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon.com Giftcard.

Virtual Supreme Court: Honorable Mention

Team Award.

Each student that advances to the semifinals will receive a copy of Professor Blackman’s book, An Introduction to Constitutional Law.

Website: http://harlaninstitute.org/contests/virtual-supreme-court/

Managing Organization: Harlan Institute and ConSource Inc.

Contact:

info@harlaninstitute.org

Entry Fee: 0

Eligibility:
High School Students in the United States

Registration Opens
Oct 7, 2019 5:00am
America/New_York

Registration Closes
Apr 30, 2020 5:00am
America/Los_Angeles

Overview

The Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) announce their Seventh Annual Virtual Supreme Court Competition. This competition offers teams of two high school students the opportunity to research cutting-edge constitutional law, write persuasive appellate briefs, argue against other students through video chats, and try to persuade a panel of esteemed attorneys during oral argument that their side is correct. This year the competition focuses on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.

The competition is endorsed by the Center for Civic Education’s We The People Competition:

“The Center for Civic Education is excited to endorse the Virtual Supreme Court Competition. The Competition is relevant for high school students studying the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

-Robert Leming, Director, We the People Programs, Center for Civic Education

The Question

Resolved:  

Does it violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools?

Process

This competition has two stages, which mirror the process by which attorneys litigate cases.

Stage One: The Briefing and Oral Arguments

A team of two students will be responsible for writing an appellate brief arguing for either the petitioner or the respondent, as well as completing an oral argument video. The brief and video will be due by February 21, 2020.You can see the winning briefs from 201320142015201620172018, and 2019.

Stage Two: The Tournament

The Harlan Institute and ConSource will select the top teams supporting the Petitioner and Respondent, and seed them for the oral argument semifinals on April 4, 2020. All teams will compete in a virtual oral argument session over Google+ Hangout judged by the Harlan Institute and ConSource. Only teams that submit briefs that fully comply with all of the rules will be considered for oral argument. You can see the video from the 20132014201520162017 2018, and 2019 competitions. The final round of the Virtual Supreme Court Competition will be held in Washington, D.C. The Harlan Institute and ConSource will sponsor the top two teams, and their teachers, for a trip to Washington, D.C. in April 2019 to debate in front of a panel of expert judges, including lawyers, university level debate champions, and legal scholars.

Criteria

Students are evaluated by legal experts from the Harlan Institute and ConSource on the quality of their arguement at each stage of the competition.

Awards

Virtual Supreme Court: Grand Prize – The Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS

Team Award.

The members of grand-prize winning team, the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, and their teacher, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to New York to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2020. This offer is open to U.S. residents only.

Virtual Supreme Court: Second Prize

Team Award.

Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad Mini.

Virtual Supreme Court: Third Prize

Team Award.

Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon.com Giftcard.

Virtual Supreme Court: Honorable Mention

Team Award.

Each student that advances to the semifinals will receive a copy of Professor Blackman’s book, An Introduction to Constitutional Law.

Participate

Website: http://harlaninstitute.org/contests/virtual-supreme-court/

Managing Organization: Harlan Institute and ConSource Inc.

Contact:

info@harlaninstitute.org

Entry Fee: 0

Eligibility:
High School Students in the United States

Deadlines

Registration Opens
Oct 7, 2019 5:00am
America/New_York

Registration Closes
Apr 30, 2020 5:00am
America/Los_Angeles