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Bridget Fahey ’14 and James Dawson ’14 Win Top Prize in Moot Court Finals Considering Federal Preemption Law and Voting Rights

The final round of the Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals at Yale Law School was held Monday afternoon, Dec. 3, in the Law School auditorium, when four Yale Law School students presented oral arguments in the case, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., a real case that comes before the Supreme Court this term.

Judge Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit presided.

They awarded the Potter Stewart Prize for best overall written and oral argument to Bridget Fahey ’14 and James Dawson ’14, who successfully argued for the respondent, the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.

Dawson received the Harlan Fiske Stone Prize for best oralist as well, and the judges also praised the performances of Katie Mesner-Hage ’13 and Michael Shih ’14, who argued for the petitioner, the state of Arizona.
The case concerned federal and state authority over elections and asked whether an Arizona law requiring that voters show proof they are eligible to vote conflicts with a federal law intended to make it easier for people to vote.

“The overall level of argumentation was spectacular,” said Yale Law School Dean Robert Post ’77.

The Morris Tyler Moot Court competition takes place each semester at Yale Law School, culminating in the Harlan Fiske Stone Prize Finals in the fall and the Thurman Arnold Prize Finals in the spring. All second- and third-year law students are eligible to participate.