Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

ACI mock Supreme Court will hear three cases

2007. 04. 10.

CALDWELL – The Albertson College of Idaho (ACI) mock Supreme Court will be called to order on April 18, 20 and 23 to hear arguments on three cases currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, including a First Amendment case known as "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" that has received national media coverage.

The cases will be argued by practicing attorneys, including some from the Idaho Attorney General's office, with the same legal briefs used by the real Supreme Court. CofI students will act as the members of the Supreme Court.

Arguments will begin at 10:20 a.m. in the Hendren Board Room on the third floor of Sterry Hall and are open to the public.

The cases that will be argued are:
  • April 18 – Hein v. Freedom from Religion. This case deals with the constitutionality of President Bush's faith-based initiative. The issue before the Court is whether taxpayers have the ability to challenge the actions of the executive branch based on the establishment clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits the legislative branch from making laws violating the freedom of religion.
  • April 20 – Fry v. Pliler. This case deals with a murder case and what standard should be applied regarding the use of evidence that might suggest the possibility of innocence of the person who has been convicted.
  • April 23 – Morse v. Frederick. A First Amendment case about whether public schools can prevent students from exhibiting a message advocating drug use at a school-sponsored event that is supervised by faculty. The court must also determine if a school principal is liable for disciplining a student who exhibits a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner at an event sponsored by the student's school and supervised by school faculty.
ACI mock Supreme Court is conducted by Kerry Hunter, an CofI political economy professor who is a Supreme Court expert. It's held every two years.

Hunter said mock Supreme Court is valuable for students in his constitutional law class, many of whom have expressed interest in a legal career.

"They gain an understanding of the different people on the Court, the procedures involved in Court decision making, legal issues and jurisprudence, and how to write an opinion that keeps a majority," Hunter said. "This course requires significant student initiative and personal commitment."

To prepare for mock Supreme Court, students must write legal biographies of the justices they represent. They also write majority opinions, dissenting opinions and concurring opinions of the cases they hear.