Members of Youngstown State University’s Moot Court team placed first and third in the nation at a recent competition.
The competition began in October with 570 students competing in nine regional tournaments across the country.
About 160 students were invited to participate in the national championship tournament last month at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Va.
At the end of all of this competition, Zachary White tied for the top individual orator in the nation. Jacob Schriner-Briggs took third best in the nation.
White is a graduate of Western Reserve High School and Schriner-Biggs graduated from Liberty High School.
A sampling of schools that reached the national competition includes Duke, University of Virginia, Air Force Academy, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Texas A&M, Baylor, Howard Payne, Holy Cross, Texas Christian, College of Wooster, Denison, Patrick Henry, University of Louisville, Liberty, Middle Tennessee, the University of Tampa and Central Florida.
The competition is sponsored by the American Collegiate Moot Court Association.
In addition, the team of Catherine Carney and James Tolliver reached the Awesome Eight or one of the top 8 teams of the 285 teams entered in the competition, and the team of White and Joshua Prest reached the Sweet 16.
White and Prest were the Midwest regional tournament runner-up team.
Carney is a Poland Seminary High School graduate and Tolliver, a graduate of Ursuline. Prest is a Boardman High graduate.
YSU advanced further than any other state university. The other YSU students reaching the national tournament were Kayla Schindler, Sean Varsho and Mike Goldthwait.
For the competition, undergraduates must argue a case involving Constitutional Law before lawyers, judges and law students as if they were arguing the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. They must use only actual court cases as precedent. They must argue based on law using legal principles and reasoning. The oral argument is critical-thinking intensive.
This year’s case presented the issue of whether or not a state university could give a preference to males over females in their admission policy to correct a declining male population on campus and whether such a policy violated an unsuccessful female applicant’s 14th Amendment right to equal protection of law.
The other issue was whether or not the university violated the 1st Amendment right of a female student by denying her group recognition as a student organization because she refused to allow males to join her group and by expelling her for refusing to let males associate with her group on campus. The purpose of her group was to protest the university’s admission policy.
The instructor for YSU’s Moot Court Team is Atty. Ron Slipski.