Mock Supreme Court Hears Arguments

Oral arguments were presented to “The Supreme Court of McDonogh” on Tuesday, March 29 in the case of William Bernard, Jr. v State of Minnesota. Members of Jeff Sanborn’s AP U.S. Government class argued the case, which is scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 20. It addresses the question: “Can a drunk driving suspect constitutionally be charged with a crime for refusing to take a breathalyzer (or other test) for blood alcohol content (BAC) in the absence of a warrant ordering him to take the test?”

The students presented both sides of the case to the court comprised of their classmates, Professor Natalie Ram of The University of Baltimore School of Law, and The Honorable Fred Smalkin '64, retired Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The members of the court peppered the student petitioners and the respondents with tough questions, which were answered with accuracy, using proper courtroom decorum.

Judge Smalkin, who presided over the “court” said that the students who presented the case had a clear understanding of the issue and performed as well or better than many first or second year law students. This was the sixth year Judge Smalkin has presided over The Supreme Court of McDonogh.

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