Van Vleck Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition

Judge John Bush (Sixth Circuit), Judge Gregory Katsas (DC Circuit), & Judge Joan Larsen (Sixth Circuit)


The Van Vleck Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition presents two constitutional law issues that a hypothetical Supreme Court has agreed to resolve. Working in teams of two, competitors submit briefs and argue for both parties to the case. Each competitor individually briefs one issue.

The winning team receives the Jacob Burns Award, which includes plaques and monetary prizes, over graduation weekend. In the past, the Van Vleck problem has dealt with the constitutionality of a sex offender registry under the Due Process Clause, the scope of Congress’s legislative power under the Commerce Clause, and the extent to which a public university may regulate student speech and expression on its campus without undermining First Amendment rights.

This year’s Van Vleck problem is based on a hypothetical federal statute that criminalizes revenge pornography. Competitors will analyze and argue two separate issues. The first issue deals with the authority to enact the statute under the Commerce Clause. The second issue addresses whether the statute infringes on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Chair: Chani Gatto-Bradshaw (3L)

Vice Chairs: Tazia Statucki (3L) & Madeline Smedley (3L)

Judges’ Committee Contacts: Kaitlin Kinsella (2L) & Tara Hosseini (2L)

Key Dates for 2018 – 2019 Van Vleck Competition

9/3/18: Registration Deadline

9/7/18: Problem Released

10/1/18: Preliminary Brief Due

10/20/18: Preliminary Rounds

10/21/18: Advancement Rounds

11/5/18:  Semi-Finalist Brief Submission Deadline

11/12/18-11/15/18: Semi-final Rounds

1/8/19:  Finalist Brief Submission Deadline

1/24/19: Final Round, Betts Theater

Countdown to Van Vleck Finals









Competition finals will take place at The George Washington University Betts Theater located at:

Betts Theater
800 21st Street NW, 1st Fl
Washington, DC 20052

Beths Theater

Beths Theater
800 21st Street NW, 1st Fl
Washington, DC 20052