The Harlan Institute 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.
Resolved: Is the Fourteenth Amendment Color-Blind?
This competition has two stages, which mirror the process by which attorneys litigate cases.
Stage One: The Briefing
A team of two students will be responsible for writing an appellate brief arguing for one side of the topic. This brief will be posted on their class’s FantasySCOTUS. Blog posts will be due by February 28, 2013. Completed briefs will be awarded the ConSource Badge.
The Harlan Institute and ConSource will select the top four briefs taking the affirmative position, and the top brief briefs taking the negative position, and seed them for oral arguments. All eight teams will compete in a virtual oral argument session over Google+ Hangout or Skype, judged by staff members at the Harlan Institute and ConSource.
- The first round of oral arguments, the District court, will match up the top eight teams, in February of 2013.
- The four teams that advance will meet up in the second round of oral arguments, the Court of Appeals, in March of 2013.
- The top two teams that advance will meet in the final round of oral arguments, the Supreme Court, in April of 2013. These two teams will compete virtually in front of a panel of prominent appellate attorneys. The winners will be crowned the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, and win an amazing prize.
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. Winners must be at least 18 years at the time of the trip (it is no problem if the student has already graduated high school in September of 2013, 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.
Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Amazon.com Giftcard.