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Rhetoric - 2007 Moot Court


This year's case involves the constitutionality of opening sessions of a state legislative body with sectarian prayer given by volunteer clergy. A group of taxpayers has sued the Speaker of the Independence House of Representatives, claiming that many of the prayers delivered during the 2005 session of the Independence General Assembly violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Speaker has defended the lawsuit by saying that the taxpayers have not been injured by any of the prayers and therefore do not have any right or standing to bring the suit. The Speaker also argues that the prayers, and the process by which clergy are chosen to deliver the prayers, are entirely consistent with the Establishment Clause, particularly in light of a proper historical understanding of the Clause.

Links to the Case and Hints (PDF):

2007 Case

2007 Sheet for Participants