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Miller defends title at moot court competition

Alyssa Janssen
Monmouth College's moot court competitors, from left, Diana Rubi, Aimee Miller, Ryan Arndt and Corbin Beastrom, face judges Greg McClintock and Ira Smolensky during the final round on Oct. 21.
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Aimee Miller, a senior from Lake in the Hills, defended her title as top advocate at Monmouth College’s Fourth Annual Moot Court Competition, which was held earlier this week on campus.
A senior communication studies and English major, Miller was joined in the finals by seniors Ryan Arndt of Princeton and Corbin Beastrom of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and freshman Diana Rubi of Peoria. They had advanced to the finals a preliminary round held on Oct. 19.
The case presented to the petitioners questioned whether an amendment to a state constitution prohibiting the use of race or sex as a consideration in college admissions decisions violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The students, who were given the case before the college’s mid-October fall break, worked closely on their preparation with Dean David Timmerman, who helped bring the competition to Monmouth in 2011.
“Moot court is a fantastic liberal arts activity because the students are peppered with questions by the judges and must think on their feet and then articulate their answers clearly,” said Timmerman. “It is an intellectually substantive event, focusing on the law and the constitution, not the particular facts of a case.” 
Judges for the finals round were MC political science professor Ira Smolensky and the Hon. Gregory K. McClintock, retired 9th Judicial Circuit Judge.
Monmouth College trustees Dan Cotter ’88 and Brad Nahrstadt ’89, two alumni who are now successful attorneys, judged the preliminary round, along with Nahrstadt’s wife, Debbie, who is also an attorney.