The Institute of Bill of Rights Law at William & Mary Law School held its annual Supreme Court Preview on September 27th and 28th of 2013. The annual Preview brings together advocates, journalists, academics, and other Supreme Court experts to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court term. Through a moot court argument, discussion panels, and break-out sessions, participants evaluate cases before the court this term and engage in educated predictions of various outcomes.
The Preview is an unparalleled opportunity to witness leaders in the field of constitutional law discussing the most significant constitutional issues facing our country. This year's moot court argument focused on Town of Greece v. Galloway. At issue in the case is whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a legislative prayer practice violates the Establishment clause notwithstanding the absence of discrimination in the selection of prayer-givers or forbidden exploitation of prayer opportunity. The featured advocates were Marci Hamilton, of the Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California at Irvine Law School. When asked about the moot court, Prof. Neal Devins, Director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law, said, “The moot court allows the public to see how hard it is to decide the issues before it. Advocates on both sides often present compelling arguments. Moreover, the moot court provides a window to hear how it is that the Court resolves disputes. The advocates have argued before the court and the Justices [for the moot court] have either argued before the Court or covered the Court as Journalists.”
Other participants included: Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal, Lyle Denniston of SCOTUS Blog, Pam Karlan of Stanford Law School, Michael Klarman of Harvard Law School, Paul Clement, former United States Solicitor General, and Barbara Underwood, Solicitor General of New York.