JESSE BLUMENTHAL '11
ALLISON WESTFAHL KONG '07
ANNA JOSEPH '13
NADEEM FAROOQI '15
Does the Citizens United ruling appropriately support a fundamental constitutional principle the doctrine of political free speech? Does it unleash moneys influence in electoral politics, corrupting the process and undermining its legitimacy? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered or at least colorfully discussed at this Athenaeum event.
The Claremont Colleges Debate Union provides opportunities for national and international parliamentary debating. They participate in approximately 45 tournaments per year. Each year, students compete in tournaments in workshops throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Turkey, Croatia, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Korea. The Debate Union has been notably successful, winning three national debate championships, as well as more than 150 team and individual debate awards in each of the past 5 years.
Each 2-person team will consist of a current student and a CMC/Debate Union alumnus. Arguing in favor of the Citizens United/free speech side are Jesse Blumenthal and Nadeem Farooqi. Arguing against Citizens United and supporting the position that the ruling undermines fair elections are Allison Westfahl and Anna Joseph.
Allison L. Westfahl Kong graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College in 2007 with a B.A. in mathematics and government. One of the most successful intercollegiate debaters in the United States in the past decade, she also won the Asian Debate Championship in Seoul. Following college, she attended New York University School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010. While at NYU, she served as the Senior Articles Editor of the Law Review and was a Furman Academic Scholar. From 2010-2011 she served as law clerk to the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York and from 2011-2012 she served as law clerk to the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her article Regulatory Change and Optimal Transition Relief, co-authored with Dean Richard Revesz, was recently published in the Northwestern Law Review. Starting in November 2012, she will join the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
Jesse Blumenthal graduated with honors in 2011 with a B. A. in PPE. He was elected as the student commencement speaker that year. An extraordinarily successful competitive debater, Jesse and his debate partner were ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation for 3 years; he won the US National Debate Championship in 2010. He twice worked on Capitol Hill for then-House Minority Leader John Boehner. He is currently the Public Affairs Manager for the American Enterprise Institute.
Anna Joseph 13 and Nadeem Farooqi 15 will represent the current student membership of the Claremont Colleges Debate Union. Anna and Nadeem are talented debaters and both have qualified for national and international competition against undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. This year, Nadeem and Anna are scheduled to attend many of the most challenging debate events in the world, including competitions hosted by the University of British Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, and the US National Championship.