29th Annual Swygert Competition Issues:

  1. Whether the provision of the Administrative Code requiring a certificate of insurance, surety bond, or cash deposit with the state as a precondition to a special use permit necessary for a march on public streets meets the minimum protections of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and
  1. Whether the provision of the Criminal Code criminalizing reckless communication of threats to injure another violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

29th Annual Swygert Rounds Schedule: (Closed to Public)

Friday, October 6, 6 – 8 p.m. Practice Round
Tuesday, October 10, 6 – 9 p.m. Round 1 (On Brief)
Tuesday, October 17, 6 – 9 p.m. Round 2 (Off Brief)
Tuesday, October 24, 6 – 8:30 p.m. Round 3 (Con. Law)

About the Competition and the Honorable Luther M. Swygert

In memory of the late Judge Luther M. Swygert, Mrs. Gertrude Swygert, his wife, and Professor Michael I. Swygert, his son, established an endowment at the Valparaiso University Law School for the creation of the Judge Luther M. Swygert Memorial Moot Court Competition.

A 1927 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, Luther M. Swygert became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana in 1934. President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated him District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana in 1943, and he was the first Democrat to be appointed to the federal bench from Indiana since the Civil War. He served as Chief District Judge until 1961, when President John F. Kennedy nominated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Swygert served as the Seventh Circuit’s Chief Judge from 1970 to 1975. He became Senior Circuit Judge in July 1981, but continued to serve the Seventh Circuit as well as other courts of appeals until 1987.

Judge Swygert had a special relationship with Valparaiso University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Valparaiso University during the dedication ceremony for the first Wesemann Hall School of Law in 1963. He was the first Jurist-in-Residence as the School of Law, and in 1984 taught an innovative seminar at the law school entitled “Language and the Law.” In addition, his son, Michael, graduated from the Law School in 1967 and was a member of the board that inaugurated the Valparaiso University Law Review.

Throughout his years as a federal jurist, Judge Swygert maintained a special interest in legal education. In particular, he took an interest in moot court programs, acting as judge for student moot court competitions in Valparaiso, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Indiana University, New York University, Wisconsin, Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, Chicago, and Yale law schools. In light of this special interest of Judge Swygert, the Judge Luther M. Swygert Memorial Moot Court Competition was created in 1989. The program involves an annual law student moot court competition held at Valparaiso University. The competition is designed to include at least one judge from the Seventh Circuit as a final round judge, and it offers a cash award to the team of advocates adjudged to exhibit the best skills in the annual competition.

The Law School benefitted enormously from the relationship with Judge Luther M. Swygert and is grateful for this generous opportunity to honor him. In addition, the faculty and students of Valparaiso University Law School wish to thank Mrs. Swygert for her continual support and interest in the students participating in the Luther M. Swygert competition.


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