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Bushrod Tournament

The Bushrod T. Washington Moot Court Tournament is a competition among William & Mary law students for membership on the Moot Court Team. Competitors take turns arguing a current issue in constitutional law in a mock Supreme Court setting. Past issues have included Fourth Amendment rights against the search of smartphone data during an arrest, Second Amendment rights issues for concealed weapons permits, and First Amendment rights protecting student free speech in the social media context. After two or three weeks of argument, the team will select the competitors who displayed the best mastery of the issues, poise, and persuasive style to join the team for the remainder of their time at William & Mary. These new members will then be eligible to compete in other tournaments throughout the country.


The eight competitors with the highest scores continue to compete for one more week in a single-elimination tournament. The final round is held in conjunction with the Edmund Randolph Silver Tongue Award. The Silver Tongue Award recognizes outstanding appellate advocacy. The Institute of Bill of Rights Law presents the Award annually to a seasoned appellate practitioner who has dedicated his or her career to the improvement and enhancement of the standards of appellate practice, the administration of justice, and the ethics of the legal profession. The Awardee sits as chief justice with a panel of law school faculty to judge the final round of the Bushrod Tournament.


The 2017 Edmund Randolph "Silver Tongue" Award recipient was Mr. Jeffrey Fisher, a professor of law at Stanford Law school and the Co-Director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Prior to this position, he was a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine and chaired the Appellate Practice Group. Through his Clinic and prior work at Davis Wright Tremaine, Mr. Fisher has argued 29 cases in front of the Supreme Court. 2017 BushrodJust a few of his successes are Crawford v. Washington which established the "testimonial" approach to the Confrontation Clause, Riley v. California, which prohibits police officers from searching cell phones incident to arrest, and Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he was co-counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs.


Previous Recipients

2016 Kathleen M. Sullivan
2015 Thomas C. Goldstein
2014 Paul M. Smith
2013 Walter E. Dellinger
2012 Carter G. Phillips
2011 Edwin S. Kneedler
2010 Beth S. Brinkmann