Tomorrow at National Constitution Center: Championship Round of the Harlan Institute and The Constitutional Sources Project’s Virtual Supreme Court Competition

April 12th, 2016

The National Constitution Center, The Harlan Institute, and The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) will host the championship round of the Fourth Annual Harlan Institute-ConSource Virtual Supreme Court Competition as part of the Center’s Freedom Day Celebration on April 13, 2016 at 2 p.m.. We are pleased to announce that the finalist teams have been selected, and include:

For the petitioners: Kelsey Talbot and Lauren Talbot from Lake Oswego High School in Lake Oswego, Oregon.


Here is the video from their championship round.

For the respondents: Michael Mireles and Tanya Reyna from IDEA Quest College Preparatory in Edinburg, Texas.


Here is their video:

These finalists will travel, along with their teacher and parents, to Philadelphia on April 13th to debate in front of a panel of expert judges, including lawyers, university level debate champions, and legal scholars. Confirmed judges include: The Honorable Theodore McKee, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; Professor Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; Mr. Howard Bashman, Appellate Attorney and Founder of the How Appealing Blog; Julie Silverbrook, Executive Director, ConSource; Josh Blackman, President, Harlan Institute.

Freedom Day is an opportunity to encourage people of all ages to appreciate their unique freedoms as Americans, to understand the relationship between the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution, and to encourage dialogue on the meaning of freedom. In addition to the debate, the Center will produce Freedom Day programming and activities for visitors of all ages, including educational games and museum experiences for students, and an evening program for an invitation-only audience featuring high level speakers, moderators, and media discussing current issues surrounding the First Amendment.

The Harlan Institute and ConSource are thrilled that the final round of the Virtual Supreme Court Competition will be part of the National Constitution Center’s Freedom Day celebration. The aim of the Virtual Supreme Court Competition complements that of Freedom Day – to encourage dialogue on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the competition offers teams of two high school students the opportunity to research cutting-edge constitutional law, write persuasive appellate briefs, argue against other students through video chats, and try to persuade a panel of esteemed attorneys during oral argument that their side is correct. This year’s competition focuses on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (II), exploring whether race conscious affirmative action is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.The members of the grand-prize winning team, the Solicitors General of FantasySCOTUS, will receive a free trip, including airfare and one night of hotel accommodations, to Washington, D.C. to attend the ConSource Constitution Day celebration in September 2016. Members of the runner-up team will each receive an iPad Mini. Members of the third and fourth place teams will each receive a $100 Gift card.