United States Air Force Academy

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U.S. Air Force Academy

Moot Court Team

Image of the Moot Court Team during a competition.

The U.S. Air Force Academy Moot Court Team had another outstanding season competing against undergraduate teams from schools around the nation.

In moot court tournaments, two-person teams, each arguing one issue, compete against other teams in front of “Supreme Court Justices” (typically comprised of lawyers, law professors, and judges). The “Justices” declare a winner after scoring on four criteria: knowledge of subject matter; response to questions; forensic skill and courtroom demeanor; and organization, logic, and clarity of argument. A tournament spans two days. The first day has three preliminary rounds, with each team arguing the petitioner and respondent’s side once, and a coin-flip deciding which side the team argues in the third round. The coin flip format places a premium on cadets’ knowledge of the case and mental agility in arguing either side with very little notice. At the end of the first day, the outstanding advocates are determined, and teams with sufficiently good records advance to the single-elimination rounds the next day.

This season’s problem, developed by the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA), involved two complex issues in a fictional case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court: whether a state statute posed an undue burden upon a woman’s right to an abortion in violation of the substantive due process guarantees of the 14th Amendment; whether that statute violated the free speech rights of licensed physicians under the 1st Amendment.

The thinking, speaking, and writing skills are developed throughout DFL’s robust Legal Studies program. It is a testament to the strength of the program, the faculty, and our cadets, that our teams have been able to perform so magnificently at the highest levels. The young and small moot court team is truly developing a national reputation.

Club Accomplishments

The Academy Moot Court Program has a continuing tradition of excellence. The extraordinary achievements of the program including; four-time regional championships; many individual awards at regional and national tournaments; multiple awards for top-5 briefs in the nation; and earned bids to, and accolades at, the national tournament. Additionally, the Academy moot court program is now ranked #9 in the country. Even the cadets who did not earn bids to nationals tremendously improved their oral communication skills.

Becoming a Member

All team members are hand selected for Moot Court.