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Dallas Morning News Covers Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition

Today the Dallas Morning News Blog featured the winners of the inaugural Harlan Institute-Consource Virtual Supreme Court Competition.

Anderson, of Centennial, and Parsons, of Liberty, won the nationwide Harlan Institute’s Virtual Supreme Court competition in which they had to write appellate briefs and argue against other student teams via online video chats presented before a panel of professional attorneys.

This year the case argued by the students was Fisher v. University of Texas, which is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court concerning an affirmative action admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

Congratulations to the two winners from Frisco, Texas,  D.J. Anderson and Jason Parsons, who won a trip to ConSource’s Fifth Annual Capital City Constitution Day program.

Here is a video of the event:

More coverage from Frisco ISD, ConSource, and the Storm Lake Pilot Tribune.

Texas High School Students Win 2013 ConSource-Harlan Institute Virtual Supreme Court Competition

On Monday, October 1, 2012, The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) and The Harlan Institute kicked off their inaugural Virtual Supreme Court Competition. The competition offered participating high school students the opportunity to research a contemporary constitutional issue – this year, affirmative action, craft appellate briefs, and present convincing legal arguments in our virtual courtroom using Google+ Video Hangouts.

Students from around the country submitted appellate briefs aimed at addressing the constitutional question – Is the Fourteenth Amendment color-blind? From the impressive briefs submitted as blog posts on the Harlan Institute’s FantasySCOTUS page (http://harlaninstitute.org/scoreboard/), legal experts at ConSource and the Harlan Institute selected the top brief-writing teams to participate in the oral argument round of the competition.

On Monday, April 22, 2013, students from the Frisco Career and Technical Education Center in Frisco, Texas competed in the championship oral argument round in front of a virtual bench of esteemed legal professionals. The judges included: Julie Silverbrook, Executive Director of ConSource; Josh Blackman, Harlan Institute President and South Texas College of Law professor; Tom Krattenmaker, former William & Mary Law School dean and clerk to Justice Harlan; and Matthew Fitzgerald, associate at McGuireWoods LLP and clerk to Justice Thomas.

The competing Frisco teams included seniors DJ Anderson and Jason Parson, as well as Derani Wiggins and Sarah Sietmann. Although the scores were incredibly close, the grand prize winners of the championship round were DJ Anderson and Jason Parson. Anderson and Parson will be flown to Washington, D.C. to participate in ConSource’s Fifth Annual Capital City Constitution Day program.

A video of the championship round is available here: http://youtu.be/rZl4yQ-2zlQ. Both teams of students should be commended for their excellent historical and legal research, writing, and oral argument skills.

Later in the day, another team of students from Frisco, as well as a team of students from Sioux Central High School in Sioux, Iowa competed in a non-advancing runner-up round. Again, the competition was very close, but the students from Frisco, Texas were able to prevail over their colleagues from Sioux Central High in Iowa.

All of the students and teachers who participated in the program should be applauded for their hard work and dedication. Mr. Benjamin Ewald of the Frisco CTE Center and Ms. Erin Olson of Sioux Central High School should be saluted for going above and beyond to prepare their students for the competition. Please join us in congratulating the participants and their wonderful teachers.

Information about the Inaugural Virtual Supreme Court Competition is available at: http://harlaninstitute.org/contests/virtual-supreme-court/,

http://harlaninstitute.org/2013/04/22/live-the-2013-harlan-institute-consource-virtual-supreme-court-competition-fisher-v-university-of-texas-austin/

Interested in coaching a team of students for the 2014 Virtual Supreme Court Competition? Email ConSource Executive Director Julie Silverbrook at

Julie.Silverbrook@consource.org or Harlan Institute President Josh Blackman atJBlackman@harlaninstitute.org.

Live: The 2013 Harlan Institute – ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition: Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin

The Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition

The Harlan Institute has partnered with The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) to host the inaugural 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 Fisher v. University of Texas.

Resolved: Is the Fourteenth Amendment Color-Blind?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Introduction: 10:15-11:20 EDT

Josh Blackman, The Harlan Institute

Championship Round: 10:20-1045

Team 1 (Petitioner – Fisher) v. Team 2 (Respondent – Texas)

Team 1 (Petitioner): DJ Anderson & Jason Parson (Frisco CTE Center, Frisco, Texas)

Team 2 (Respondent): Sarah Sietmann, Konnor Rodriguez (Frisco CTE Center, Frisco, Texas)

Judges:


  • Petitioner-Anderson (5 minutes)

  • Respondent-Sietmann (5 minutes)

  • Petitioner-Parson, Rebuttal (3 minutes)

  • Respondent- Rodriguez, Rebuttal (3 minutes)


Runner-Up Round:10:45-11:10

Team 1 (Petitioner – Fisher) v. Team 2 (Respondent – Texas)

Team 1 (Petitioner): Katie Gibson, Amber Decker (Sioux Central High School, Sioux Rapids, Iowa)

Team 2 (Respondent): Baylee Hammonds and D. Wiggins (Frisco CTE Center, Frisco, Texas)

Judges:

 

  • Petitioner 1 (5 minutes)

  • Respondent-Hammonds (5 minutes)

  • Petitioner 2 (3 minutes)

  • Respondent-Wiggins (3 minutes)

 

Concluding Remarks: 11:10-11:15

Julie Silverbrook, ConSource

The October 2012 Season of FantasySCOTUS Starts Today – Grand Prize: All-Expenses Paid Trip to Washington, D.C. for Constitution Day 2013

In honor of the start of the Supreme Court’s term today (the First Monday in October!), the Harlan Institute’s OT 2012 season begins today. We are offering offering three contests this season: Fantasy Predictions, Fantasy Blogs & Badges, and our Virtual Supreme Court–the grand prize is an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. for Constitution Day 2013 for the winning team. Teachers–sign up today for our free programs.

Fantasy Predictions

FantasySCOTUS Predictions challenges students to make predictions about pending Supreme Court cases and write analytical blog posts exploring the different constitutional issues in the cases.

After studying cases currently pending before the Court with these lesson plans, students will make predictions about how each of the nine Justices will vote. Based on the individual student predictions, each class will submit a set of group predictions for each case. All predictions will be due by March, 31, 2012.

 

 

Fantasy Blogs & Badges

In addition to making predictions, each class will write a series of analytical blog posts for each case.  By signing up your class for FantasySCOTUS, you will automatically receive a free WordPress blog hosted at the Harlan Institute. All Blog posts will be due by March 31, 2013.

The winner of the FantasySCOTUS Blogs & Badges Contest will be determined based on the class with the most points from badges on May 15, 2015.

The top class in the United States will be awarded the “Chief Justice” Prize, an iPad.

 

Virtual Supreme Court

The Harlan Institute has partnered with The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) to host the inaugural 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 Fisher v. University of Texas.

ResolvedIs the Fourteenth Amendment Color-Blind?

The members of 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 on September 17, 2013.

 

Nate Silver Writes on New York Times Blog About The Wise High Schoolers Who Predicted On FantasySCOTUS

Who came out looking better than the pundits? Interestingly, it may be high school students.

High school students participating in a Supreme Court “fantasy league”sponsored by the nonprofit Harlan Institute had been about evenly divided in predicting the court’s decision, with 57 percent thinking the mandate would be overturned and 43 percent saying it would be upheld.

Nor did the oral arguments in the case, which substantially affected the conventional wisdom, alter the students’ opinions much. Instead, they had seen the case as a tossup from the beginning.

I suspect these students would have been wise enough to avoid some of the counterintuitive speculation about the decision’s political effects that you will now be seeing on television.

Read more at 538 Blog.


FantasySCOTUS Scoreboard

The Harlan Institute

Learn more about the Harlan Institute.


Student Blog Posts