Photo: U.S. Supreme Court

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.”

Listen to Justice Sonia Sotomayor announce the moot court winner at Berkeley[audio:]

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.

Before the event, Sotomayor paid a visit to Berkeley’s Rosa Parks Elementary School. Berkeleyside has the full report and a really nice photo.

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.

Listen to Justice Sonia Sotomayor at UC Berkeley Moot Court Competition 3 February,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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