Yesterday at Zellerbach Hall, the U.C. Berkeley moot-court competition was presided over by none other than Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
From the Contra Costa Times:
Law students Edward Piper and Thomas Frampton spent an hour debating Busch v. Marple Newtown School District, a Pennsylvania case involving a kindergarten student whose mother was barred from reading a Bible passage at a show-and-tell day. The competitors prepared voluminous briefs on the subject and were peppered with questions from the judges within seconds of beginning their arguments.
Although Frampton was judged the winner — by “a thin, thin slice,” Sotomayor said — Sotomayor praised both participants for their performance.
KQED’s Rachel Dornhelm was at the competition and filed this report:
Here’s the full audio of Justice Sotomayor announcing the winner and praising both the participants and the law school. “I do moot courts because, every once in a while, I need an injection of hope,” she said. “And I see performances like the ones you gave today and I have so much hope. You were magnificent.”
The U.C. Berkeley School of Law, by the way, is where Sotomayor delivered her now famous “wise Latina” lecture, which became an issue during her confirmation hearings.
And on a slightly related note, listen to Scott Shafer’s profile of Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the new Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, on The California Report.