GHS students national champions in Virtual Supreme Court Competition

Greenwich High School students Lucy Mini, a junior and Arjun Ahuja, a senior have been named Champions of the 5th annual National Virtual Supreme Court Competition hosted by The Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource).

The competition was hosted in the Supreme Court Institute Moot Court Room at Georgetown University Law Center, where two teams of high school students argued the case of Trinity Lutheran Church vs. Comer in front of a panel of nine judges in a small-scale replica of the courtroom at the United States Supreme Court.

Mini and Ahuja argued on behalf of the petitioners, and Jacklin Chang and Emma Austin from Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon argued on behalf of the respondents. To reach the championship round, these outstanding students had to compete against dozens of teams from all corners of the continental United States. Ahuha and Mini and Chang and Austin not only submitted the best written appellate briefs, but also proved to be the most able oral advocates in the preliminary oral argument rounds.

Their coach, Aaron Hull, a model civic educator, shared how his students prepared for the competition: “Lucy prepared for the competition in the middle of AP Exams, and Arjun had graduated, moved on to Senior Internship, and could have mailed it in. Instead, both dug deep to develop Petitioners’ argument at a substantive and nuanced level, attempting, as we often strive to find in our Republic, a balance between the safety of all of our citizens and excessive governmental entanglement in the religious beliefs of a sect of them. After we arrived in DC, settled in, had our dinner, and toured the monuments, they then continued to work into the night to deepen their understanding of the facts of the case. What a pair of citizen scholars.”

Arjun Ahuja said of the Virtual Supreme Court Competition: “There are few time periods in US history where it would be more important to be constitutionally literate than right now. I find the law and the legal field to be interesting so it’s easy, but things like the Virtual Supreme Court keep the flame alive. I hope to continue with events like this to help advance the ideals that the Constitution represents.”

His teammate, Lucy Mini, added: “The Constitution is no where near as black and white as it may seem in a traditional classroom setting. Taking a stand on what those broad words mean, and then being battered by judges looking for any cracks in your argument, that is what the Founders intended when they wrote the Constitution, which is exactly what this competition provides for.”

Lucy Mini and Arjun Ahuja

Lucy Mini and Arjun Ahuja

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