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Gaming Political Science

Constitutional Law and Courts

American Collegiate Moot Court Association

In many constitutional law courses across the country, college undergraduates participate in Supreme Court simulations (moot court). Some schools form competitive teams and compete in intramural events in statewide competitions, or they can enter tournaments sponsored by the American Collegiate Moot Court Association (ACMA) – the only national organization dedicated to intercollegiate moot court.

American Mock Trial Association

The AMTA is the governing body for intercollegiate mock trial competition. AMTA hosts 24 regional, eight opening round championships, and one national tournament each year.

PBS: The Supreme Court Games

Nine different games that test student knowledge of Supreme Court history and landmark cases.

The Public Disputes Program

From the website: "PDP is based at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON). PON is an inter-university consortium (Harvard, MIT, and Tufts) devoted to improving the theory and practice of dispute resolution. It was created in the early 1980s to make it easier for scholars from a variety of disciplines to work together and for scholars and practitioners to interact more effectively. The teaching resources include over four dozen simulations and role playing exercises involving negotiation, mediation, and collective bargaining.

Articles, Books, and Conference Papers

Ambrosio, Thomas. 2006. “Trying Saddam Hussein: Teaching International Law through an Undergraduate Mock Trial.” International Studies Perspectives 7(2): 159-71. Abstract

Auerbach, Arthur H. 2013. “United States Supreme Court Confirmation Simulation: Learning through the Process of Experience.” PS: Political Science and Politics 46(4): 808-12. Abstract

Baker, Nancy V. 1994. “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez: The Trials of Teaching the Supreme Court.” PS: Political Science and Politics 27(2): 253-5. Abstact

Bengston, Teri J. and Katrina L. Sifferd. 2010. “The Unique Challenges Posed by Mock Trial: Evaluation and Assessment of a Simulation Course.” Journal of Political Science Education 6(1): 70-86. Abstract

Bridge, Dave. 2013. “The Settlement Game: A Simulation Teaching Institutional Theories of Public Law.” PS: Political Science and Politics 46(4): 813-7. Abstract

Bridge, Dave. 2014. "You Sunk My Constitution: Using a Popular Off-the-Shelf Board Game to Simulate Political Concepts." Journal of Political Science Education 10(3): 186-203). Abstract

Canon, Bradley C. 1998. “Simulating the Certiorari Process.” Law and Courts 8(1): 5-8.

Carlson, J. Lon, and Neil T. Skaggs. 2000. “Learning by Trial and Error: A Case for Moot Courts.” The Journal of Economic Education 31(2): 145-55. Abstract

Cooperman, Rosalyn. 2012. "Law Making and Law Interpreting in the Land of Oz: Using Simulations to Draw Back the Curtains of the American Legislative and Judicial Processes." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington, DC, February 17-19. Contact

Dolan, Julie and Marni Ezra. 2002. CQ’s Supreme Court Simulation: Government in Action. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press)

Fliter, John. 2009. “Incorporating a Sophisticated Supreme Court Simulation into an Undergraduate Constitutional Law Class.” Journal of Political Science Education 5(1): 12-26. Abstract

Gates, John B. 2013. "Using an Online Simulation of Supreme Court Decision Making in Large Classes." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Long Beach, CA, February 8-10. Abstract

Gates, John B. 2011. "An Online Simulation of the Decision Making of the Supreme Court." Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 11-13. Contact

Hardy, Richard J., Chapman Rackaway, and Laurie E. Sonnier. 2005. “In the Supreme Court Justices' Shoes: Critical Thinking through the use of Hypothetical Case Law Analyses and Interactive Simulations.” PS: Political Science and Politics 38(3): 411-4. Abstract

Hensley, Thomas R. 1993. “Come to the Edge: Role Playing Activities in a Constitutional Law Class.” PS: Political Science and Politics 26(1): 64-68. Abstract

Hernandez, Michael V. 1998. “In Defense of Moot Court: A Response to 'in Praise of Moot Court - Not!” The Review of Litigation 17(69): 69-89. Abstract

Kravetz, Katherine. 2001. “The Mock Trial Course in Justice Education.” Journal of Criminal Justice Education 12(1): 147-68. Abstract

Pacelle, Richard L. 1989. “Simulating Supreme Court Decision Making.” Political Science Teacher 2(2): 9-11. Abstract

Pautz, Michelle C. 2011. “Challenging the Constitution: Covening a Mock Constitutional Convention for American Government Students.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44(3): 648-51. Abstract

Ringel, Lewis S. 2004. “Designing a Moot Court: What to do, what Not to do, and Suggestions for how to do it.” PS: Political Science and Politics 37(3): 459-65. Abstract

Rosato, Jennifer L. 1995. “All I Ever Needed to Know about Teaching Law School I Learned Teaching Kindergarten: Introducing Gaming Techniques into the Law School Classroom.” Journal of Legal Education 45(4): 568-81.

Smith, Daniel. 2012. “iNcourt: Using a Virtual Supreme Court to Enhance the Traditional Simulation Experience.” Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington, DC, February 17-19. Abstract

Smith, Daniel. 2010. “Mini-Moot Court: Use of the Abbreviated Simulation in Teaching Constitutional Law.” Paper presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, Philadelphia, PA, February 5-7. Contact

Vile, John R., and Thomas R. Van Dervort. 1994. “Revitalizing Undergraduate Programs through Intercollegiate Mock Trial Competition.” PS: Political Science and Politics 27(4): 712-5. Abstract

Whitaker, Steve. 1973. “A Role-Playing Simulation of the United States Supreme Court.” Teaching Political Science 1(1): 47-58. Abstract

Zeigler, Sara and Sheena Moran. 2008. “Revisiting Adam’s Rib: Student Performance, Gender Stereotyping, and Trial Simulations.” Journal of Political Science Education 4(2): 187-204. Abstract