Students who are interested in the law or debate are encouraged to participate in Moot Court, whatever their major. Although the Pre-Law Advising program sponsors Moot Court, definite plans to attend law school are not necessary. Any interested COW student is welcome to participate in Moot Court.
Moot Court simulates appellate argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. Moot Court is thus different from mock trial in that students argue constitutional and statutory questions that are stated in a hypothetical Supreme Court case formulated by the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA). For example, the 2009-2010 ACMA hypothetical case problem, State of Olympus v. William DeNolf, Jr., concerns two of the most important civil liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution: the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee that state searches of “persons, houses, papers, and effects” be reasonable, and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment.” More specifically, the two constitutional questions raised in the case are: 1) Does the deployment of a visual enhancement device without a warrant violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution? 2) Does the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole imposed on Respondent violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?
For the serious pre-law student, Wooster offers a course that focuses on U.S. constitutional law, legal writing and appellate argument. Political Science 215, Constitutional Law and Appellate Advocacy, is offered each fall and incorporates the Moot Court case problem. Participation in Moot Court is a requirement for students in Constitutional Law and Appellate Advocacy.