By Sarah Novicoff
The team of Miranda Van Iderstine ’13 and Micah Sperling ’12 finished in second place at the Duke Moot Court High School Tournament on Feb. 25 and 26 at Duke University in Durham, N.C. The two argued a case prompt regarding the application of the First and Fifth Amendments to a fake national security wiretapping case.
The competition takes place annually and according to the tournament website, “hundreds of teams of two students submit essays on a specific Supreme Court decision in order to enter the tournament.”
Three other teams from the Moot Court Team qualified for the tournament. Members of the Moot Court team have won this tournament twice in the past– last year Ben Dreier ’11 and Andrew Hartford ’11 won arguing the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act, and four years ago Danielle Kolin ’08 and Melissa Saphier ’08 won arguing the availability of the writ of habeas corpus to alien detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
After each round, Speaker Points were awarded to the individual members and the Justice decided which side won the case. The Final Round was judged by a combination of professors, judges, legal scholars and lawyers – unlike the other rounds which were judged by Duke University students in moot court, clarified the tournament website.
Moot Court is a competition in which students are presented with a simulated case. Participants then use past cases to make an argument for or against the constitutionality of the action described in the case, explained moot court team member Katie Jung ’14.
Students departed on a late flight Thursday night Feb. 23 and spent Friday practicing at Duke University. They will return on Monday Feb. 27.