Maryland High School Students Win 2015 ConSource-Harlan Institute Virtual Supreme Court Competition
High School Students Argue Case of Zivotofsky v. John Kerry, Secretary of State
WASHINGTON, DC — Building on the success of the 2013 and 2014 Virtual Supreme Court project, the Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) hosted the third 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 focused on Zivotofsky v. Kerry.
Students from around the country submitted appellate briefs and participated in virtual oral argument aimed at addressing the constitutional question – Is the President’s recognition power subject to control by the Congress?
In the championship round of oral argument, petitioners were represented by David Edimo and Nick Peang-Meth from Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD, and petitioners were represented by Ammas Tanveer and Max Groznik from Lake Oswego High School in Oswego, Oregon. The competition was fierce, but the petitioners David and Nick prevailed, becoming the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS. David and Nick, along with their teacher, will travel to Washington, DC to participate in ConSource’s Seventh Annual Constitution Day Celebration in September 2015.
You can view the championship round of oral argument here: https://youtu.be/VIh7mqrFlbU
All of the students and teachers who participated in the program should be applauded for their hard work and dedication. The teachers at Richard Montgomery High School and Mr. Gerrit Koepping of Lake Oswego High School should be saluted for going above and beyond to prepare their students for the competition. We also commend the finalist teams from Frisco CTE Center (TX), Del Valle High School (TX), Wicomico High School (MD), and Elkins HS (WV) for their excellent efforts. Please join us in congratulating the participants and their wonderful teachers.
Information about the Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition is available at: http://harlaninstitute.org/contests/virtual-supreme-court/.
For questions or further information, please contact Josh Blackman, President of The Harlan Institute, at JBlackman@HarlanInstitute.org or Julie Silverbrook, Executive Director of ConSource, at Julie.Silverbrook@ConSource.org.
Check your brackets! The 2015 Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition is underway. This year our students have submitted briefs and made oral arguments concerning Zivotofsky v. Kerry. Round 2 is now complete, and we are now scheduling the final round. The Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C. to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2015.
Here are the advancing teams, and their oral arguments. My deep thanks to Julie Silverbrook, the Executive Director of Consource, who judged the second round with me. Check out the videos and briefs from the students below, and tell us what you think!
Congratulations to all of the teams. We will be announcing the teams that will advance to the final round later this week.
You can see all of the videos in the tournament here:
Check your brackets! The 2015 Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition is underway. This year our students have submitted briefs and made oral arguments concerning Zivotofsky v. Kerry. We are currently judging Round 1, featuring the top 16 teams in the country–8 Petitioner teams and 8 Respondent teams. The top 8 teams from this round will advance to the next round, and get one step closer to winning the entire tournament.The Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C. to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2015
Check out the videos and briefs from the students below, and tell us what you think!
Building on the success of the 2013 and 2014 Virtual Supreme Court project, the Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) will host the third 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 Zivotofsky v. Kerry, exploring whether the President’s power to diplomatically recognize foreign nations is subject to control by Congress.
The competition is endorsed by the Center for Civic Education’s We The People Program. Robert Leming, Director of the We the People Program found that the “Competition is relevant for high school students studying the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
ConSource Executive Director Julie Silverbrook believes “the Competition is an excellent opportunity for high school students to develop core civic and constitutional literacy skills. Students are required to read the text of the Constitution, explore the history behind a contemporary constitutional dispute, and construct persuasive arguments. We know that experiences like the Virtual Supreme Court Competition leave a lifelong impression on participating students and encourages them to stay informed and engaged throughout their lives.”
The members of the grand-prize winning team, the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C. to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2015. Winners must be at least 18 years old at the time of the trip (it is no problem if the student has already graduated high school in September of 2015, so long as he or she was in high school during the competition). This offer is open to U.S. residents only. Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad Mini. Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon.com Gift card.
Josh Blackman, President of the Harlan Institute, champions the Virtual Supreme Court, which provides an “unprecedented opportunity for high school students to engage in the highest level of appellate advocacy. They research the issues, write briefs, and make oral arguments before our judges. The strong caliber of the winning teams last year really impressed us. We can’t wait to see how the teams perform this year!”
We are honored to announce the winners of the 2014 Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court competition. This year, the students were asked to write briefs, and participate in oral arguments for the case of NLRB v. Noel Canning. The question, was: “Resolved: What is the scope of the President’s recess appointment power?“
We received over 100 excellent submissions from high school students across the country. We were able to narrow down our brackets to four teams. Each team participated in oral arguments over Google+ Hangouts. Our engaged judges asked the students tough and challenging questions, and they had to think on their feet. In the end, we were extremely impressed with all of the winners.
Here are the final standings of the teams:
Congratulations to all the students. Also, congratulations to their excellent teachers. Ben Ewald at Frisco CTE, Christina Murray at Wicomico High School, and Michael Cunningham at Del Valle HS. We are so proud of these educators who inspire their students to accomplish great things.
Also, we extend our deepest thanks to our excellent judges who graciously volunteered their time to help judge the competition: Bryan Gividen, Timothy Huffstutter, Carl Cecere, and Lawrence Dietz. And always, my deepest thanks to my colleague and friend, Julie Silverbrook, the Executive Director of Consource for her tireless work in promoting constitutional education.
If you like our programs, please consider supporting the Harlan Institute and ConSource. We offer all of these programs to students at no cost, and rely on generation donations to cover our costs, and the students’ prizes.
You can watch the video of the semifinals, involving the teams from Wicomoco, Del Valle, and Frisco.
The video of the championship round (broken into two segments) between Wicomoco and Frisco is here:
Uma Chatterjee was born in Queens, NY and lived there until she was 11. She has lived in the North Dallas area for seven 7 years. She sings competitively. She is considering going to school at American University of the University of Texas at Dallas, and wants to double-major in political science and psychology. Uma wants to work as an attorney focusing on civil liberties, ideally with the ACLU.
Michelle McEvoy was born in Livingston, New Jersey. She plans on attending New York University, majoring in Political science with a minor in international affairs. She is a member of the French club, Future Farmers of America, and the enjoys photography, volunteering.
Uma Chatterjee (left) and Michelle McEvoy and (right).
Second Prize - Dante Barnes and Peter Kim, Wicomico HS, Wicomico, MD.
Dante Barnes is a sophomore at Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Maryland. He is currently enrolled in AP government. He plans on joining the Army after high school.
Peter Kim is a sophomore who attends Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Maryland. He was born in South Korea and likes to play must. He plans on going to college to become a doctor after high school.