One of the highlights of the first year in law school is preparing and arguing the appellate brief. Congratulations to the 1Ls on writing your appellate briefs—best of luck on your oral arguments!
As the 1Ls prepare to argue their case on appeal, just last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the 2010 Obama health care legislation. On the second day of arguments, the central issue on whether the requirement that everyone have health insurance is unconstitutional took center stage. For those of us who have done oral arguments, at least in our first year of law school, we know that oral argument is not easy. Solicitor General Verrilli’s performance however received much criticism. Verrilli, who is widely described as a skillful and accomplished lawyer, was criticized for repeatedly pausing and excusing himself throughout his argument. Opinions however differ. Some called the Solicitor General’s argument an “awful performance” – a “train wreck,” while others called it one of the most spectacular “flame-outs” in Supreme Court history.