Date and Time
Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
The Paul A. McLennon, Sr., Honors Moot Court Competition
Endowed through the generosity of University of San Diego School of Law Professor Michael Devitt and his family to honor longtime family friend, attorney and naval officer, the Paul A. McLennon, Sr., Moot Court Competition provides an opportunity for students to develop their brief-writing and advocacy skills and to test these skills in an open, rigorous competition. Organized by the University of San Diego School of Law Appellate Moot Court Board, the competition consists of several preliminary rounds, culminating in the final round argued before a distinguished panel of judges.
- The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- The Honorable Thomas L. Ludington, ’79, District Judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- The Honorable Ronald F. Frazier, ’82, Judge, San Diego Superior Court
Case Before the Court
In American Secular Association v. Obama, a case inspired by a recent Seventh Circuit decision, an association of atheists and agnostics are suing the President of the United States seeking to invalidate the National Day of Prayer.
Petitioners, the American Secular Association and two of its members sued the President of the United States claiming that the National Day of Prayer statute (36 U.S.C. § 119) is unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The National Day of Prayer statute was passed in 1952 and requires that the President set aside the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.” The statute encourages Americans to pray in churches, their homes, and as individuals. Petitioners claim they have standing to sue in federal court based upon the fact that they feel second-class citizens because the President encourages them to pray. The District Court held that petitioners had standing and that the National Day of Prayer violated the Establishment Clause. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court holding that petitioners’ feelings of unwelcomeness did not confer standing under Article III.
For tournament purposes, our “Supreme Court” will decide two issues on appeal, which are 1) whether petitioners have standing to sue in federal court under Article III based upon their feelings of unwelcomeness and second-class citizenship, and 2) whether the National Day of Prayer statute violates the Establishment Clause.
For additional information about the USD School of Law Appellate Moot Court Board, please visit the Moot Court Board website.
Directions and Parking
Shuttles will run every 15 minutes from 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Register to Attend
The deadline to register for this event has been extended to Tuesday, February 28, 2012.