Mooting Legal Issues


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Legal issues for presentation skills class.

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  • Mooting Legal Issues

    1. 1. Mooting Legal Issues The Ten Commandments and Bong Hits for Jesus
    2. 2. Where to Start <ul><li>Look at the “briefs” I have provided to each team. </li></ul><ul><li>Divide the arguments up among the team. </li></ul><ul><li>Rephrase the arguments you are making using language with which you are comfortable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make these your own words, not the words of the lawyers who drafted the briefs. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Facts <ul><li>Each side will be given a “brief” with extensive facts. </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is to give you sufficient background. </li></ul><ul><li>Pick out only the most important when creating facts for oral argument. </li></ul>
    4. 4. The First Amendment <ul><li>&quot;Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Const., Amend. I. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Texas Ten Commandments Van Orden v. Perry
    6. 6. Petitioner's Arguments <ul><li>the government is impermissibly discriminating in favor of some religious denominations and sects. </li></ul><ul><li>the government has no permissible secular purpose </li></ul><ul><li>the monument has the impermissible effect of symbolically endorsing religion </li></ul>
    7. 7. Favoring Religions <ul><li>How does the Ten Commandments favor a religion? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it differ from “In God We Trust” on money? </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Court erred: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>this is not non-sectarian display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>state should have shown that favoring religious was absolutely necessary </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. No Secular Purpose <ul><li>Lower Court said: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>purpose was to honer Eagles for work on juvenile issues, not promote religion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ten commandments are foundation of our laws and posting them honors history, not promotes religion. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TEST – government actions violate Establishment Clause unless their actual purpose is secular. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Actual Purpose? <ul><li>How does religious display honor work of group on juvenile issues? Is this a sham? </li></ul><ul><li>Wouldn't a display mentioning these issues be more appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>False to claim historical role of Ten Commandments in country's laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Court has already found display like this can only have religious purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stone v. Graham </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Endorsement of Religion <ul><li>Placement of the monument sends clear message that this religion is favored by the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Fact that no other monuments on the property are religious further supports impression. </li></ul><ul><li>The content of the monument leaves little doubt as to the message being endorsed by the state. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Endorsement Test <ul><li>Government must not [be] ... conveying a message that religion or a particular religious belief is favored or preferred.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The Court has also stated that the Establishment Clause is violated &quot;when the reasonable observer would view a government practice as endorsing religion.&quot; </li></ul>
    12. 12. Reasonable Person View <ul><li>Is this like the nativity scenes surrounded by non-religious displays? </li></ul><ul><li>Do religious symbols so closely intertwined with government symbols send endorsement of religion message? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Respondent's Arguments <ul><li>A reasonable observer would not view the display as an endorsement of religion. </li></ul><ul><li>The monument serves the secular purposes of honoring the Eagles and acknowledging the Ten Commandments' historical impact on our laws. </li></ul><ul><li>The display survives any other test applied to Establishment Clause issues. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Another Reasonable View <ul><li>Monument is part of museum depicting history of Texas. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot walk past Ten Commandments without passing other monuments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This does not create “outsiders” and “insiders” no more than other monuments do. </li></ul><ul><li>This is just like the dollar. Not endorsement. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Just Like the Dollar?
    16. 16. Secular Purpose <ul><li>The monument is both religious and secular. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>religion must be sole purpose to violate Const. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Honor the work of Eagles </li></ul><ul><li>Has secular role in shaping nation's laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of nation's social fabric </li></ul>
    17. 17. Social Fabric Examples <ul><li>&quot;God save the United States and this Honorable Court.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>official Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, </li></ul><ul><li>House and Senate chaplains/prayers, </li></ul><ul><li>the national motto &quot;In God We Trust,&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>the Pledge of Allegiance </li></ul><ul><li>religious paintings in the National Gallery, </li></ul><ul><li>Moses holding the Ten Commandments on the frieze of this Court </li></ul>
    18. 18. Survives Other Tests <ul><li>Doesn't Discriminate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not even crèche discriminates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Doesn't coerce </li></ul><ul><li>Different than Stone </li></ul><ul><li>No more of threat than other permitted practices: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>legislative prayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>crèche as part of holiday display </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Cases <ul><li>Everson v Board of Education (1947) </li></ul><ul><li>Stone v. Graham (1980) </li></ul><ul><li>Marsh v Chambers (1983) </li></ul><ul><li>Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) </li></ul><ul><li>Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) </li></ul><ul><li>County of Allegheny v ACLU (1989) </li></ul>
    20. 20. Student Free Speech <ul><li>Morse </li></ul><ul><li>v. </li></ul><ul><li>Frederick </li></ul>
    21. 21. Cases <ul><li>Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) </li></ul><ul><li>Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser (1986) </li></ul><ul><li>Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988). </li></ul>
    22. 22. Tinker <ul><li>Students suspended for wearing black armbands. </li></ul><ul><li>Court found students have free speech rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Court also found school can regulate “substantially disruptive” speech. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which is different than what government can normally do. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Fraser <ul><li>Student was punished for giving election speech filled with sexual innuendo </li></ul><ul><li>Court held that schools can regulate offensive and disruptive speech. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Kuhlmeier <ul><li>Court held that schools did not have to provide students with forums to speak. </li></ul><ul><li>When they did, then students had less First Amendment protection. </li></ul><ul><li>School can regulate speech in school-sponsored forum if it advances legitimate educational purpose. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Petitioner's Arguments <ul><li>Frederick was subject to school rules and the “special circumstances” that exist in school. </li></ul><ul><li>Discouraging drug use is important educational mission, and pro-drug message disrupts this mission. </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-drug message interfered with educational mission of school sponsored event. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Subject to School Rules <ul><li>Because he was not in school that day, is he subject to the rules? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neither lower court questioned whether this was a school speech case. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He was standing with other students in the area where school-sponsored event was taking place. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He acknowledged the principal's authority to take his banner away. </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. “Special Circumstances” <ul><li>Tinker allows for free speech, but acknowledges “special circumstances” in schools which may allow for some regulation of speech. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disruptive speech can be regulated because of school's education mission. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Tinker case concerns passive speech, here we have an instance where the speaker actively and obnoxiously sought attention. </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Importance of no Drugs Policy <ul><li>Preventing drug use is part of school's education mission. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court has recognized this in privacy cases. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fraser permits prohibiting speech that undermines education mission. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This includes offensive as well as disruptive speech. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pro-drug message offends policy and interferes with mission </li></ul>
    29. 29. Sign Changed School Event <ul><li>School's interest in maintain general order outweighs speech rights. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see Fraser. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kuhlmeier allows schools to regulate school-sponsored speech to advance education purpose. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Event was school sponsored. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School had right to make sure it was not seen as sponsoring pro-drug speech. </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Keep In Mind <ul><li>This is very fact sensitive, thus understanding the facts are important. </li></ul><ul><li>Really only three cases apply. Thus drawing analogies and distinctions to the cases are important. </li></ul><ul><li>This is all about the school being able to keep control and educate children now and in the future. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Respondent's Arguments <ul><li>This is not a student speech case </li></ul><ul><li>Frederick's speech was not disruptive under the Tinker test. </li></ul><ul><li>Banning Frederick's speech would substantially change the way future courts deal with student speech cases. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Not A Speech Case <ul><li>Because of “special circumstances” in schools, speech can be regulated differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, it is very important to show that we are dealing with school, not speech on public street where rule is different. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Not a Speech Case Facts <ul><li>Never arrived at school. </li></ul><ul><li>Not on school property. </li></ul><ul><li>The Torch Relay was a public event. </li></ul><ul><li>Students were released from class. </li></ul><ul><li>He was not among students released. </li></ul><ul><li>Students released were only loosely supervised. </li></ul><ul><li>Students were not required to remain together and some left. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Not Disruptive under Tinker <ul><li>What is the Tinker test? </li></ul><ul><li>Speech is clearly kind entitled to protection. </li></ul><ul><li>No showing of actual disruption. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>event was not interfered with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lingering effects not enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not enough to claim message conflicts with anti-drug message. </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Substantial Change in Law <ul><li>Fraser is limited to manner used to communicate the message, not the message itself. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Here school didn't like the message, regardless of how it was delivered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kuhlmeier is limited to narrow area of school-sponsored speech. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Here the school was not sponsoring the event. </li></ul></ul>