Chen ’23 and Gaylord ’23 Awarded Best Brief at Northeastern Regional Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition

Chen ’23 and Gaylord ’23 Awarded Best Brief at Northeastern Regional Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition

03.25.22 — Rachael Chen ’23 and Henry Gaylord ’23 were awarded the best brief at the 2021 Northeastern Regional Thomas Tang Moot Court competition, held virtually on October 29, 2021. Chen and Gaylord joined teammates Sara Conroy ’23 and Mia Lin ’22 in representing Northeastern Law at the event, which was sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA).

The 2021 competition involved two complicated questions concerning voting rights law and gerrymandering. The first involved whether the plaintiffs, comprised of two minority groups, may be combined to satisfy the Supreme Court’s test in Thornburg v. Gingles and constitute a majority for a vote dilution claim under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The second concerned the question of whether the plaintiffs’ challenge to a redistricting plan reflected partisan gerrymandering that would present a non-justiciable issue under Rucho v. Common Cause.

“It was an incredible learning opportunity to write a full appellate brief and argue in front of multiple panels of judges. This experience honed our writing and advocacy skills, and it was particularly meaningful because the case concerned very relevant and timely topics: voting rights, gerrymandering and racial discrimination,” said Chen and Gaylord in a joint statement. “Hands-on, experiential learning opportunities like this are the reason we both came to Northeastern. We would like to thank our coach, Professor Hahn-DuPont, for her guidance throughout the entire process, including many late nights. We would also like to highlight our teammates Mia Lin and Sara Conroy, who collaboratively tackled understanding this complex area of law with us and brilliantly argued the opposing side, which helped to discover holes in our arguments and strengthen our brief. We are also grateful to all those who helped us prepare for oral arguments, and NAPABA for hosting the competition.”

“I could not have been prouder of Rachael, Henry, Mia and Sara and their performance at the competition,” said Professor Margaret Hahn-Dupont, who supervised the team. “The competition involved complicated issues about voting rights and gerrymandering, but the students handled them with ease and confidence both in their briefs and in the oral arguments. Judge Thomas Tang long ago recognized the discrimination that AAPI attorneys faced in the courtroom and the need to support and encourage AAPI law students to seek careers in litigation.  I am grateful that our students have the opportunity to continue his legacy and to represent Northeastern Law School's continuing fight for equality in the legal profession.”

The Thomas Tang Moot Court competition was founded in 1993 and is named in honor of the late Honorable Thomas Tang, who served on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1977 until his passing in 1995. He was the first American of Chinese descent appointed to the federal judiciary. The annual competition is sponsored by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

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