South Mountain High School Students Competed in the 2016 National Marshall-Brennan High School Moot Court Competition

Posted by Community Relations at 4/20/2016

Four South Mountain students competed in the 2016 National Marshall-Brennan High School Moot Court Competition, April 8-10 in Washington, D.C., and Rafael Reyes continued the school’s tradition of top performers, advancing to the semi-finals.  It was the eighth year in a row that a South Mountain student advanced to the semi-finals. There have been two National Champions and one finalist from South in that stretch. No other school in the country has been as successful.  Patricia Rodelo, Kayla Ballesteros and Jesus Flores also represented South Mountain. The National Marshall-Brennan Moot Court Competition, named after former Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan, serves as an opportunity for high school students participating in Marshall-Brennan classes to showcase their oral advocacy skills, network, and learn about careers in the law.  This year's National Competition consisted of 62 students representing their local high school and 14 Law Schools from around the country.  Each law school selects their representatives from the hundreds of students that they work with.  South Mountain sent its four students as representatives of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. In the competition, two opposing attorneys argue about what the law should be regarding a Constitutional question.  They must use previous decisions made by actual courts.  This year's case was a freedom of religion and freedom of speech issue relating to speech done by a high school student at an off campus site that may or may not have been a school event. Over 500 urban high school students participate in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project nationally, studying constitutional law with law-school students. Semi-finalist Reyes has had quite a senior year. He was a member of South’s Mock Trial team that advanced to the State championships, and he was on the State Champion Boys Soccer team.