Institute of Justice Attorney Visits Senior Seminar

The Upper School’s 21st Century Citizenship Senior Seminar recently invited Erica Smith to join their class for a discussion of Espinoza v. Montana. The class has been researching the Supreme Court case, which questions whether or not a state law allowing for general education funding but no funding for religious schools, violates the religion clauses or the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Smith is an attorney with the Institute for Justice, which is representing the families in the case.  

“When I first emailed Erica Smith it was asking for advice on the Supreme Court case we are arguing in Twenty-First Century Citizenship, Espinoza v. Montana. Ms. Smith responded with advice, and out of the kindness of her heart also proposed to come down to talk with our seminar, which was special given that she is so inextricably connected to the case itself,” said Miguel Rivera Young ‘20. 

“The experience was incredible. Her handle on the nuance of the case is beyond impressive, and her ability to help us in articulating that nuance is invaluable. She helped us craft our arguments, strengthening the weak points and pointing out where we can weaken the opposition's strong points. She helped elucidate the precedental cases we were struggling with, as well as navigating our way through the toughest questions that we are expecting to be asked. It was truly a pleasure to welcome such a professional into our space, and the experience we gained from her expertise is difficult to explain in words, but I can say that our team feels much more confident in the strength of our arguments and our ability to dissect difficult questions regarding Espinoza v. Montana.” 

To learn more about Espinoza v. Montana from Ms. Smith, please click here. Photos of Ms. Smith’s visit can be found on the School’s SmugMug account.


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