Court was in session in Kirby Chapel on Monday, January 13th as students from Mr. Franz’s Constitutional Law class staged their final mock trial of the semester.
This fictitious case based on real news events involved the Clemson University football program and the accusations by a Muslim athlete that the publicly-funded university is violating constitutional guidelines by openly promoting Christianity. The prosecution cited examples of how the coach encouraged the team to pray together, made a derogatory comment about the Muslim faith and even conducted an on-field Baptism after practice. The defense maintained that the use of prayer is not in conflict with the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom and that the university welcomes all qualified players into its program regardless of faith.
After the closing arguments, Mr. Franz led a general discussion about whether the First Amendment should protect college athletes who are feeling ostracized because of religion.
The four student court justices will deliver their written conclusions on Friday.