Moot Court — In Session. Students examine historical and current issues in ways that foster civic literacy.
This week students from Ms. Ratledge’s AP Gov’t & Politics class participated in a formal Moot Court, arguing the recent case of RG & GR Funeral Homes v EEOC, a case about the dismissal of a transgender woman from her place of employment. The case was heard on October 8th 2019 and, along with Bostock v Clayton County Georgia, one of the more significant civil rights cases of our time.
Students were assigned a side to argue or were given a Justice to emulate. Chris Chiang and Nathan Bennett also joined the Justices, as Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor respectively, in oral arguments. All roles were assigned, so to be clear no opinions that you may hear in the court necessarily represent the opinions of the students.
Arguing the Petitioners side, Cameron Golub, Hannah Stern and Zev Kalechofsky did a solid job of presenting while the Respondents were represented by Dov Factor, Edward Fisher, Jessie Mernin and Caroline Kramer.
The students were professional in dress and demeanor and did an outstanding job making their cases. While they were not arguing their opinions necessarily, their comprehension of the complexities of the case and their delivery were both passionate and engaging. The experience as a whole, shed light on the challenges of looking to laws established in a different time, a time when the LBGTQ community was hidden and marginalized to such an extent that even dictionaries failed to contain definitions of their existence. While civil rights laws were crafted to protect civil liberties, defining those freedoms and applying them to every citizen, is a struggle that continues to this day.
A message from Ms. Ratledge:
I am so honored to teach seniors this year as its given me such a glimpse into the wonders of this school. Collectively, we’ve put a lot of work into these kids and it shows in their intellect, stamina, and grit to lean into difficult projects like this one. I know that anyone who has taught these students has had a big hand in forming that character over the past 4 years—so bravo to all of you. We should all feel proud.