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Berch to assist in prep for U.S. Supreme Court oral argument

September 15, 2010

Professor Michael Berch of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law will help the Solicitor General in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office prepare for oral argument in a case, headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, about religious education tax credits.

Berch, the Alan A. Matheson Professor of Law, will participate in one of the Solicitor General’s moot courts on Oct. 21 in preparation for Garriott v. Winn. Berch will read all the briefs of the parties and nearly three dozen amicus briefs, and pose questions to Paula Bickett (Class of 1981), the Chief Counsel of Civil Appeals in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, who will represent the government in the case. He also will critique the argument at the close of moot court.

The high court has agreed to decide whether the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization program unconstitutionally endorses or advances religion simply because taxpayers choose to direct more contributions to religious organization than nonreligious ones. Oral arguments are scheduled for this fall.

The 13-year-old program provides dollar-for-dollar income tax breaks for donations to school tuition organizations. Some state taxpayers have objected to the program, contending that religious organizations award most of the scholarships and require children to enroll in religious schools.

For more information about the case, click here.

In addition to his work at the law school, Berch is an Honors Disciplinary Faculty member of Barrett, The Honors College at ASU. Since 1969, he has taught a wide variety of courses, including Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Law and the Regulatory State and Professional Responsibility. He has coached many of ASU’s winning Moot Court teams and has written extensively.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law