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Oral Argument Recap – Charter Schools Case

October 13, 2010

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gwinnett County School District v. Cox, focusing on the constitutionality of the state’s charter schools commission law.  The Court had extended argument to 30 minutes per side, and both sides used all the available time.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Fulton County Daily Report (subscription required) both covered the argument, and the Daily Report made videos of each attorney arguing their position available on its multimedia site.

A few interesting statistics from the argument:

  • Four attorneys argued on behalf of the Appellants: Mike Bowers, Gerald Edenfield, Thomas Cox, and Santana Flanigan.
  • Of the 30 minutes allotted to the Appellants, Bowers used nine minutes, Edenfield used nine minutes, Cox used seven minutes, and Flanigan used three and a half minutes.
  • The Appellants saved about a minute and a half for rebuttal.
  • Two attorneys argued on behalf of the Appellees: Stefan Ritter and Bruce Brown.
  • Of the 30 minutes allotted to the Appellees, Ritter used 14 minutes and Brown used the remaining 16 minutes.
  • The first question to Mike Bowers came from Justice Melton approximately eight minutes into his argument.
  • The first question to Bruce Brown came approximately a minute and a half into his argument.
  • The Court asked at least 25 questions during the course of the argument, most focused on the meaning of “special school” in the state Constitution.
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