2002-2003 Competition Results
"Do Democracy and Justice Exist in Secret?
The Eighteenth Annual William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition was held February 27-28, and March 1, 2003 at the University of Minnesota Law School. Thirty-three teams representing the following law schools participated:
The competition focused on the conflict between our need for heightened security in the wake of 9/11, and our desires to preserve individual liberties and an open society. Each team briefed and argued Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft, 303 F.3d 681 (6th Cir. 2002) in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the First Amendment of the United States' Constitution provides the public and the press with a right of access to deportation hearings, and Haddad v. Ashcroft, 221 F. Supp. 2d 799 (E.D. Mich. 2002), in which a district court in the Sixth Circuit ruled that INS detainees have a right to public deportation hearings pursuant to the Fifth Amendment.
The Honorable David R. Hansen, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit, Justice John E. Simonett of the Minnesota Supreme Court (retired) and Judges E. Anne McKinsey and Lloyd Zimmerman of the Hennepin County District Court presided over the final argument in Lockhart Hall.
Seton Hall School of Law won First Place. Tulane Law School came in second. Brooklyn Law School won Third Place. Mercer Law School Team 1 finished fourth and won Best Brief honors. Devon Corneal of Seton Hall School of Law won Best Oral Advocate Over-All with Matt Talcott of George Mason University School of Law receiving an honorable mention. Joseph Rich of Villanova School of Law Team 1 won Best Oral Advocate of the Preliminary Rounds.
Other teams that advanced to the Quarter-Finals included: University of Minnesota Law School Team 2, George Mason University School of Law, New York University School of Law and Hamline University School of Law Team 2. Other teams that advanced to the Round of Sixteen included: Campbell University School of Law Team 1, University of Wisconsin Law School Team 2, DePaul University College of Law, Hamline University School of Law Team 1, New York Law School, Stetson, University of Minnesota Law School Team 1 and Northeastern University School of Law Team 2.
Over 130 members of the bar and bench volunteered to judge briefs, oral arguments or both. Prior to the competition, the Civil Rights Moot Court offered the volunteer judges a free Continuing Legal Education program, "Do Democracy and Justice Exist in Secret? The Constitutionality of Blanket Closure of Deportation Hearings in the Wake of 9/11." The program included a panel discussion regarding the legal, constitutional and policy issues involved in cases like Detroit Free Press and North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Ashcroft, 308 F.3d 198 (3rd Cir.2002), a conflicting decision from the Third Circuit. The panel consisted of Professor Adam Samaha, a visiting scholar at the law school, Professor Jayanth K. Krishnan of William Mitchell College of Law, Karen Ellingson, Esq., Legal Work Coordinator of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and Adjunct Director of the law school's Immigration Clinic, and Terry M. Louie, Esq., Assistant District Counsel of the St. Paul District Office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Clinical Professor Carl Warren moderated the panel. Professor Raliegh Hanna Levine of William Mitchell College of Law spoke concerning the standards and the appropriate analysis of constitutional claims in cases like Detroit Free Press. Professor Maury Landsman, of the University of Minnesota Law School, discussed the distinction between confidentiality and privilege.