Court is in Session: U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Holds Oral Arguments at AUWCL
Jan. 26, 2018
For three hours on Thursday, Jan. 25, American University Washington College of Law’s Grossman Hall became home base for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as oral arguments in two cases were presented before a three judge panel.
Chief Judge Merrick Garland and Judge David B. Sentelle presided over the Court in person, while Judge A. Raymond Randolph participated remotely by phone. The panel heard arguments in USA v. Jamal, a criminal case in which a D.C. Police Officer was convicted of tax fraud, and Electronic Privacy Information v. FAA, which involves drones and privacy law.
“The D.C. Circuit, like other federal courts, is not observed personally by many people, even by lawyers,” said Professor Stephen Wermiel, who teaches Constitutional Law and a seminar on The Supreme Court. “The chance to bring the court to the people – law students and others – is a great way to let more people see their work and to understand what they do.”
The arguments were attended by more than 250 students, faculty and staff, and a reception followed.
American University President Sylvia M. Burwell, who addressed the crowd at the reception, said she is “honored that the D.C. Circuit Court chose AUWCL as a venue for oral arguments today, presided by my former colleague and friend Merrick Garland. By witnessing these arguments, students can connect research and theory to practice and impact. AUWCL makes sure our students have the knowledge and tools to change the world.”
“By witnessing these arguments, students can connect research and theory to practice and impact. AUWCL makes sure our students have the knowledge and tools to change the world.”American University President Sylvia M. Burwell
As Judge Garland thanked the crowd he remarked that he remembered many contacts with President Burwell during their time at the Justice and Treasury departments. President Burwell worked with Judge Garland when she was the chief of staff for the Treasury Secretary and Judge Garland was in the office of the deputy attorney general with the Department of Justice.
The Court appearance was organized by AUWCL’s Trial Advocacy Program and Office of Special Events. Five students involved with the program – especially Moot Court and Mock Trial – were chosen to serve as ushers - Kristopher Vicencio, Brittany Donnellan, Chris White, Lucas Novaes, and Desislava Kireva.
Additional coverage provided by LAW360.