Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Right now, Harvard's 92nd Ames Finals Moot Court Competition is going on. Three famous judges I've never really heard of are presiding over oral arguments in a fake case; two teams of 6 students each, who beat out a couple dozen other teams in the preliminary rounds, are competing in order to win the case and add another line to their alreday-stellar resumes. The teams this year are the Paul Wellstone Memorial Team (Petitioner), and the John Ritter Memorial Team (Respondent). No, I'm getting that wrong. It's John Rawls, not John Ritter. Oops.

Here's what the fake case is about, taken from the Harvard website: Michelle Jones, Petitioner v. Harlan Oakes, Commissioner of the Ames Division of Motor Vehicles, and Clara Brooks, Ames State Treasurer, Respondents -- involves a plaintiff's challenge to a state statute authorizing the production of specialty license plates displaying the words, "Choose Life." The plaintiff holds pro-choice beliefs, but cannot obtain a pro-choice license plate because the state has not authorized such a plate. The first issue asks whether the plaintiff has Article III standing to challenge the statute. The second addresses whether the statute violates the plaintiff's right to free speech under the First Amendment.

I cut-and-pasted that description, but as many times as I try to read it, I can't concentrate enough to read the whole paragraph and actually comprehend it.

The people on each team who talk are called "oralists." That's the kind of thing their friends would probably make fun of them for if their friends aren't humorless law students. "Ooh, you're an oralist...."