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The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court Championship Round

In April, we hosted the semifinal rounds for the Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court competition. And in May, we hosted the Elite 8 Round. These higher-schoolers are remarkable. They could compete, and win, a law school moot court competition. And they could out-argue most attorneys before the courts of appeals.

Today, we hosted the championship round. We had an all-Ohio panel in honor of our partnership with Ashbrook. Presiding over the match were Judges Batchelder and Readler from the Sixth Circuit, and Justice Fischer from the Ohio Supreme Court.

The winning team was from Frisco CTE Center in Frisco, Texas (Anita Ashok and Kashish Bastola). And the runner-up team was from BASIS Peoria in Peoria, Arizona (Senou Kounouho and Ayaan Siddiqui). Picking a winner was really tough. The scores were very close, and there was a split decision. Further praise is warranted for Senou, who was the best oralist.

Watching these bright young students gives me hope for the future of our republic. We hope to launch the next competition earlier than usual, in August or September. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to me.

The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court Elite 8 Round

Last month, we hosted the semifinal rounds for the Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court competition. And this past weekend, we hosted the Elite 8 Round. These higher-schoolers are remarkable. They could compete, and win, a law school moot court competition. And they could out-argue most attorneys before the courts of appeals.

I am deeply grateful to our stellar roster of judges. Presiding over the first match was Deputy Solicitor General Rebecca Taibleson, who argued Torres, and prevailed. Chris Riano, the President of the Center for Civic Education, presided over the third and fourth matches. And we had a cadre of five law professors rounding out the benches. I judged, along with my colleagues from the South Texas College of Law Houston, Geoff Corn and Amanda Peters. And we were lucky to have Professor Josh Kastenberg from the University of New Mexico and Rachel VanLandingham from Southwestern. All of these judges (present company excluded) were former prosecutors/and or defense attorneys. They brought their considerable experience to the tournament. And the students faced red-hot benches.

We had four matches. And as fate would have it, the Petitioner and Respondent teams from Match #1 have both advanced to the championship round. And these teams also faced off against each other in the semifinal round. In total, they will compete against each other three times. Congratulations to Senou Kounouho and Ayaan Siddiqui from BASIS Peoria in Arizona and Anita Ashok and Kashish Bastola from Frisco CTE Center in Texas. We will have more details about the final match shortly.

Here are the videos from the rounds.

Match #1

Petitioner: Team 7872

Respondent: Team 7852

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjMje-tS-lE&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=JoshBlackman

Match #2

Petitioner: Team 7857

Respondent: Team 7976

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnYPXr3bvKA&ab_channel=JoshBlackman

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The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court Semifinal Rounds

This past weekend, we hosted the semifinal rounds for the Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court competition. The teams were superb. Truly, these high school students could compete in any law school moot court competition. We will announce the advancing teams shortly. Here, I would like to thank all of the judges who volunteered their time: John Sparks, Ryan Brown, Christopher Riaño, Jen Deibel, Samantha Vajskop, Curtis Herbert, and Rebecca Taibleson. We are especially grateful to Deputy SG Taibleson, who argued Torres, and prevailed!

Match #1

Petitioner: Team 8006

  • School: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North
  • Students: Rithika Iyengar and Siddharth Satish
  • Location: Plainsboro Township, New Jersey
  • Petitioner Brief
  • Preliminary Round

Respondent: Team 7860

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bOmHHkxb9Y&ab_channel=JoshBlackman

 

Match #2

Petitioner: Team 7872

Respondent: Team 7852

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2KJQo2sj3M&ab_channel=JoshBlackman

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The Top 12 Respondent Teams in The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court

In October, the Harlan Institute and Ashbrook announced the Eighth 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 Torres v. Madrid.

We are proud to announce the top 12 respondent teams that will advance to the next round. Here are their preliminary oral argument videos, and their briefs. We announced the top 12 petitioner teams here.

Team 7476

  • School: Pine Crest School
  • Students: Pedro Ribeiro and Yuvraj Tuli
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Respondent Brief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihuBNEAQIvA

Team 7810

  • School: Eastside Catholic High School
  • Students: Sam Niehl and Ruoya Huang
  • Location: Sammamish, Washington
  • Respondent Brief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jIVAEMFQGc&ab_channel=SharonHuang

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The Top 12 Petitioner Teams in The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court

In October, the Harlan Institute and Ashbrook announced the Eighth 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 Torres v. Madrid.

We are proud to announce the top 12 petitioner teams that will advance to the next round. Here are their preliminary oral argument videos, and their briefs. We will announce the top 12 respondent teams in another post.

Team 7847

  • School: The Founders Academy
  • Students: Francesca Vesey and James Inamorati
  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Petitioner Brief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-vR-yJ7Hbs&ab_channel=F.M.Vesey

Team 7855

  • School: Creekview High School
  • Students: Jaqueline Aleman and Daniel Sawyers
  • Location: Carrolton, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tzU1AVDkMY&ab_channel=JonathanRay

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The Harlan Institute

Learn more about the Harlan Institute.