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Four students participate in mock Supreme Court argument

by Public Relations | February 12, 2024

LATROBE, PA ­– On Jan. 23, four Saint Vincent students took part in a mock Supreme Court argument in the Fred Rogers Center. The four students, Rebekah Bollman, Alicia Boretti, Sophia Bringman and Caleb Banwar, have been researching and formulating arguments since September.

Caleb Banwar, Rebekah Bollman, Sophia Bringman, and Alicia Boretti.

Each of the Saint Vincent students presented an argument on a cutting-edge issue of Constitutional law to a panel of judges including attorneys and adjunct professors Adam Cogan and Donna McClelland. Bringman and Banwar presented as petitioner and Bollman and Boretti as respondent.

The case involved an issue raised by the recent Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case, which overruled Roe v. Wade. The students considered additionally a hypothetical state law that restricts contraception, weighing whether a fundamental right to the use of such contraception remains protected by the Constitution. Weaved in as well was the practice of religion and whether a Supreme Court precedent, which allows greater governmental restriction of that right, should be overturned.

One of the participants, Rebekah Bollman, is a junior criminology and politics double major. She found the event and experience working with Constitutional law to be vastly beneficial. “I think when we look at law, we typically think of trial lawyers and the county court system with witnesses, but there are a lot more aspects of law that we don’t consider going into. And for Constitutional law especially, I think it gives us a bigger lens on how law actually impacts citizens and their rights,” she explained.

Bruce Antkowiak, J.D., professor and legal counsel for the College, recognizes the advantages of such a program as preparing students for law school. “You really have to be able to analyze a legal problem, set out an argument, structure it support it and then be able to articulate,” he said. “It is absolutely classic preparation.”

Antkowiak explained that the legal studies minor Saint Vincent offers courses taught in the same style and with similar assignments as in law school “I taught law school as a tenured professor for 10 years, and I teach my courses here in the same way.”

This is part of why, Antkowiak remarked, Saint Vincent College boasts a 100% Law School acceptance rate. Come next fall, the school is prepared to officially participate in the American Moot Court Competition.


-David Collins, English major, of Oakmont


PHOTO: Caleb Banwar, Rebekah Bollman, Sophia Bringman, and Alicia Boretti.