The Seigenthaler-Sutherland Cup Competition, hosted by The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, is a national appellate advocacy competition focusing on constitutional law. It is one of the oldest national moot court competitions in the United States.
In 1949, Catholic University Law School students Robert J. Casey and Frank J. Whalen, Jr. approached Dean Brendon Brown with the idea for an inter-school moot court competition. Dean Brown supported their idea and invited the law schools of Yale, Fordham, and the University of Virginia to participate. With the assistance of University Trustee Lewis L. Guarnieri, the first Sutherland Cup Competition was held in the spring of 1950 and was judged by Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark.
The competition is named for Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland (1922-1938). The trophy, which is on display in the DuFour Law Library, was donated by George S. Elmore, a grandson of Sutherland who attended Catholic University Law School for one year before graduating from Cornell.
The competition has been judged by many outstanding legal minds, including Supreme Court Justices Harold Burton, Hugo L. Black, Tom C. Clark, Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall, Byron R. White and Clarence Thomas.
In 2016, the Sutherland Cup merged with the Newseum’s Seigenthaler Cup, a national First Amendment moot court competition begun in 1990. Named for John Seigenthaler, founder of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, the competition presents hypothetical cases based on current First Amendment issues.