ST. PAUL, Minn. -- USD law student Jon Hansen was recognized as the outstanding oral advocate at the William E. McGee National Civil Rights Moot Court Competition sponsored by Mitchell Hamline Law School and the USD team advanced to the semifinals of the tournament held last weekend in the Twin Cities.
Hansen is a third-year student from Dell Rapids, South Dakota. He was recognized for his performance in three preliminary rounds and three advanced rounds of the tournament. In each round, Hansen presented an oral argument on behalf of either the petitioner or the respondent in a case involving a Mississippi statute that would force the closure of the only clinic providing abortion services in the state. Unlike most moot court tournaments, which are based on hypothetical cases, this competition required students to write appellate briefs and then argue the issues in an actual case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Currier v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The USD team comprised Hansen, Brianna Palomaki and Jason Thomas advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. They won four of their six rounds, defeating teams from DePaul, St. Thomas, Brigham Young and Chicago-Kent. A second USD team, composed of Kiira Anderson, Austin Hoffman and Pradeep Jayaraman, also competed in the tournament.