Mini-Moot Court Activity: Tinker v. Des Moines

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10/26/2020

This classroom-ready activity guides students through mini-moot court of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969).

A moot court is a role-play of an appeals court or Supreme Court hearing. The court is asked to rule on a lower court's decision. No witnesses are called, nor are the basic facts in a case disputed. Arguments are prepared and presented on a legal question (e.g., the constitutionality of a law or government action or the interpretation of a federal statute). Moot courts are an effective strategy for focusing student attention on underlying legal principles and concepts of justice.

Moot courts are often done with a full complement of judges and attorneys. However, there are benefits to conducting mini-moot courts consisting of three student roles in some instances. Mini-moots generally take less class time to prepare and conduct, each student in the class is fully engaged, and different decisions may be reached and considered.

For additional resources on using mini-moot courts in the classroom, see our Mini-Moot Courts Resource Bundle.


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