The Top 12 Petitioner Teams in The 2020 Harlan Institute-Ashbrook Virtual Supreme Court

The teams will compete in the first round on April 10 and 11.

|

In October, the Harlan Institute and Ashbrook announced the Eighth 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 Torres v. Madrid.

We are proud to announce the top 12 petitioner teams that will advance to the next round. Here are their preliminary oral argument videos, and their briefs. We will announce the top 12 respondent teams in another post.

Team 7847

  • School: The Founders Academy
  • Students: Francesca Vesey and James Inamorati
  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7855

  • School: Creekview High School
  • Students: Jaqueline Aleman and Daniel Sawyers
  • Location: Carrolton, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7857

  • School: Creekview High School
  • Students: Brandon Fantine and Elizaveta Frolova
  • Location: Carrolton, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7859

  • School: Creekview High School
  • Students: Makaylia Askew and Elizabeth Adeoye
  • Location: Carrolton, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7872

  • School: BASIS Peoria
  • Students: Senou Kounouho and Ayaan Siddiqui
  • Location: Peoria, Arizona
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7881

  • School: Paradise Honors High School
  • Students: Cameron Rose and Nathan Spalding
  • Location: Surprise, Arizona
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7899

  • School: The Baldwin School
  • Students: Wynne Conger and Grace Halak
  • Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7974

  • School: Homeschool
  • Students: Campbell Collins and Gabriella Lovins
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 7987

  • School: Greenwich High School
  • Students: Veda Swaminathan and Skyler Zinker
  • Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 8006

  • School: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North
  • Students: Rithika Iyengar and Siddharth Satish
  • Location: Plainsboro Township, New Jersey
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 8017

  • School: Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet
  • Students: Charlotte Ortiz and Cora Hughes
  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

Team 8018

  • School: Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet
  • Students: Elena Rembert and Melanie Rojas
  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • Petitioner Brief

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: April 2, 1980

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is a tremendous high school experience. However, I question the choice of such a nitpicky, trivial case. No one cares about it, except the rent seeking defense bar seeking to keep its worthless job.

    1. That brings up the question of the onset of real adulthood. Adulthood starts at 14, so say nature, the world’s religions, and 10000 years of human civilization. The later age is yet another lawyer fiction to keep top performers from competing with the inferior clients of the lawyer.

      One reply is that they are immature. Maturity comes from experience, and not from the passage of time. For example, the stupidest people in the country, the Justices of the Supreme Court spent 80 hours a week studying in law school, then the same in their early careers. None has tried to achieve anything meaningful. That makes them stupid and immature.

      School should catch up to world standards, meaning be 2 years ahead of where American kids are. Coding should start in 4th grade, and decimal places should be taught in 3rd grade. Then at 14 get vocational training, such as law school or medical school.

      Did you ever seen teens dancing, jumping about, and leaping from rooftop to rooftop on YouTube ? Their brains are just as superior to those of adults as their legs. Those years are totally wasted by the lawyer on high school. They should be working in their teens.

      1. Read the briefs. They prove the point, high school students are as good as experienced appellate lawyers.

      2. “School should catch up to world standards, meaning be 2 years ahead of where American kids are. Coding should start in 4th grade, and decimal places should be taught in 3rd grade. Then at 14 get vocational training, such as law school or medical school.”

        Ever been outside the country?

        1. The average Korean student knows more than our Honor student. India has more Honor students than we have children. I have not been there, but believe in their performance.

          I visited schools in Japan and in France. From the 3rd grade, they work till they drop, at 9 PM. They have rote knowledge. We could advantage our students by making them do real work. Real work not only forces the acquisition of knowledge, but self reliance, and creativity, even if only repairing a car.

          The students did a good job in their briefs when made to, and helped a little.

Please to post comments