SHC Student Moot Court ~ Town of Greece v. Galloway

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 4:45pm
image upload by lreese

Spring Hill College students in Dr. Matthew Baugh’s Civil Liberties and Civil Rights course argued Town of Greece v. Galloway today in the Bedsole Conference Room of the Marnie and John Burke Memorial Library.

Greece v. Galloway is a case currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. The case asks whether beginning a town council meeting with a prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  

Fifteen students participated in the simulated Supreme Court oral arguments. The team  representing the Town of Greece argued in favor of allowing prayer at the start of each council gathering, whereas the students representing Galloway opposed prayer being delivered before the meetings.

Dr. Baugh, a Spring Hill College assistant professor of political science and law, acted as the silent chief justice, and was accompanied by three student justices.  

“This is one of the most watched cases before the Supreme Court this year,” says Dr. Baugh. “The Court has recently heard oral arguments in the case, but will not release its decision and opinion until June. I wanted the students in this course to have an opportunity to get inside the case in real time in order to make the arguments themselves—before the Court announces its decision.” 

According to Dr. Baugh, today’s moot court exercise was a rare opportunity, mainly because the vast majority of cases that constitutional law students study have already been decided. 

“We read opinions and debate whether the Court got the decision right, but there is often a sense that the dispute is over and done with and there may be a temptation to see the Court's result as somehow pre-determined or obvious,” says Baugh. “After studying Town of Greece v. Galloway, my students are in the same position now as the litigants in this case, and in particular, in the same position as their counsel. We have all made our best arguments and now are waiting to hear whether it is constitutional to begin a town council meeting with prayer -- a question that concerns every person in this country.”

 

SHC Student Justices

Amanda Gibbs

Stefanie Carty

Trent Hayes

 

Town of Greece

Team I

Astrid Torres

Katie Setton

Taylor Hardenstein

 

Team II

Ashley Adams

Liz Bullock

Melaine Parker

 

Galloway

Team I

Alexis Esneault

Colin Hinds

Jamie Britnell

 

Team II

Casey McSweeney

Gabriella del Gandio

Jacqueline Talley

 

Listen to the audio version of the moot court proceedings here:

http://toh.shc.edu/2014/02/supreme-court-simulation-team-one/
http://toh.shc.edu/2014/02/supreme-court-simulation-team-two/  

 

Thank you to Catt Sirten from Top of the Hill radio for recording the trial for Dr. Baugh and Spring Hill College.
 
For more information on Town of Greece v. Galloway, visit http://www.oyez.org/town-of-greece/