W&M Supreme Court Preview Weekend

Benny Zhang, Class of 2020Each fall, the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at William & Mary Law School marks the beginning of the new term of the U.S. Supreme Court with the Supreme Court Preview weekend. There are discussions of current and upcoming issues, a Moot Court session, and panels of journalists, advocates, and academics from across the country. This year, 2L Benny Zhang participated in the weekend and provided us with his thoughts and experiences during this unique opportunity. 

At William & Mary Law School, our deeply rooted history with the United States Constitution is not lost on us. It starts with the law school’s namesake – some of our fundamental constitutional protections came from King William and Queen Mary’s acceptance of the English Bill of Rights in 1689. That inspiration came to the shore of the Americas where our famous professors and alumni drafted and ratified the United States Constitution. Thus, it is no wonder that our nation’s top attorneys and prominent judges descend upon the Alma Mater of a Nation to take part in our annual Supreme Court Preview weekend.

For us contemporary students, the Supreme Court Preview provides us with invaluable insight into some of the most relevant constitutional issues confronting the U.S. Supreme Court. This year’s Preview was exceptionally important to me because of my Note topic for the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, which involves a pending Supreme Court case on the Eighth Amendment Excessive Fines Clause. At the Preview, I was able to network and connect with the nation’s top experts and ask for further guidance on my Note topic.

Supreme Court PreviewAs a local elected official, I am intensely interested in gerrymandering. During the lunch break-out session, I looked into the Election Law Society and heard from Paul M. Smith, who argued numerous major gerrymandering cases before the Court and offered his own perspective on the future direction of how our Supreme Court Justices would decide on such cases.

Unlike any other law school, our Supreme Court Preview shows that the Alma Mater of a Nation, while steeped in history, is still in keeping with the times. You can be a part of the weekend by viewing taped preview panel sessions with some of the nation’s top lawyers and legal experts from the weekend!

Benming “Benny” Zhang is a 2L from Williamsburg, VA. He is a member of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Christian Legal Society, and Federalist Society. He also serves as an elected official of the Williamsburg City Council.