Moot Is the Point: NYU Talks Its Way to the Top
Marden Moot Court Turns PoliticalPrinter Friendly Version
Partisan politics was on the docket at the 21st annual Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition. The case, written by Colin George ’08 and Matthew Lippert ’08, concerned three petitioners who attempted to create a ballot initiative reforming electoral vote apportionment in the fictional state of Scrantin. After the plaintiffs collected enough signatures to get an initiative on the ballot in the next general election, the Scrantin state legislature amended the state constitution to stipulate that ballot initiatives concerning electoral vote apportionment require a supermajority, rather than a simple majority, in order to pass. Claiming that their First Amendment rights had been violated, the petitioners went to district court, and, after losing there, appealed on the grounds that the trial judge had not applied proper scrutiny to whether ballot initiatives are speech, and had erroneously concluded that individuals affiliated with a specific political party are not a protected class.
In the end, a distinguished bench, consisting of Judge Allyson Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Judge Kenneth Karas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sided with the plaintiffs, declaring petitioners’ cocounsels Chirag Badlani ’08 and Julie Mandelsohn ’07 the winning team. The Best Oralist Award, however, went to respondent Anthony DeCinque ’08 (Alan Lawn ’08 was his cocounsel), making the honors appropriately bipartisan.
A Winning Season
The team of Brian Crow ’07, Shaneeda Jaffer ’07 and Kartik Venguswamy ’07 reached the quarterfinals of the 57th Annual National Moot Court Competition. In the earlier New York regional round, Venguswamy garnered the Best Oralist honor.
Michael Robotti ’08 and Lee Turner-Dodge ’08 took first place at the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition on March 25. Daniel Samann ’07 coached.
Jonathan Davis ’08 and Jonathan Herczeg ’08 took top honors at the third national UCLA Sexual Orientation Competition on February 24. Sam Castic ’07 coached.
NYU’s Moot Court Board hosted for the second year in a row the Immigration Law Competition. Heather Keegan ’07 and Vilas Dhar ’07 ran the competition, while Julia Fuma ’07 and Andrew Hodgetts ’07 created the problem. Teams from 10 schools argued before Kermit Lipez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Stanley Marcus of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Juan Osuna, acting chairman, Board of Immigration Appeals.
Vilas Dhar ’07, Rachael McCracken ’07, James Medek ’07 and William Newman ’07 earned first, second, honorary men-tion and third place oratory honors, respectively, at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Atlantic Regional, on March 19.