FORT HOOD — Remuneration, categorically views, drawing a bright line.
These complex terms and issues might baffle even the most experienced lawyers, but on Wednesday, four students from Copperas Cove and Harker Heights high schools stood in front of a panel of judges and argued complex legal law in a court room.
The arguments were part of Fort Hood’s second annual moot court, a scholarly competition for area students interested in law. On Wednesday, the two teams of finalists whittled from an original group of 27 over the past several days argued in front of a mock Supreme Court.
The finalists were juniors Abron Hester and Hayley Boynton from HHHS and senior Kylee Burgin and sophomore Chevonne Charmant from CCHS.
The proceedings took on an air of seriousness from the outset, with a panel of judges consisting of a federal judge Jeff Manske, district judge Martha Trudo, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, Coryell County District Attorney Dusty Boyd and Assistant District Attorney Anne Jackson, asking pointed questions and probing each student’s argument.
At issue was whether the federal government could deport a longtime legal resident, but not citizen, of the U.S. after he was caught with a small amount of marijuana.
The case had nothing to do with the drug itself, and everything to do with the legal statutes that led an immigrant court to charge the accused man with a felony, though he had only been charged with a misdemeanor possession.
In the end, Hester and Boynton finished first in the competition, arguing that the man should be deported.
The moot court made no ruling. However, the case mimicked the Supreme Court case Moncrieffe v. Holder, which the court ruled upon last week.
Boynton said she was at first intimidated by the court room and the experienced judges, but it got easier as her argument went on.
“You feel as if you’re expected (to do) a lot,” Charmant said. “It was fun. I’m not going to lie.”
Watching the event, which was part of Fort Hood’s annual Law Day, were post Staff Judge Advocated Col. Stuart Risch and Deputy Judge Advocate General for the Army Maj. Gen. Butch Tate.
“You forget sometimes that you’re watching kids in high school,” Risch said. “They did as well as some lawyers I’ve seen.”