Kaplan Club defeated Griswold Club in the finals of the Ames Competition before an overflow audience in the Law School's Ames Courtroom last night. The argument was the culmination of an elimination tournament which, for both clubs, had begun in their first year.
William J. Brennan, newly-appointed Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was Chief Justice for the argument. Brennan's associates on the bench were Raymond S. Wilkins, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and William L. Hendersen of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Kaplan Club represented the United States government in an appeal to the Circuit Court of a conviction for first degree murder. Griswold Club appeared for the defendant, Frank Blair. Blair was indicted and convicted for the murder of a confederate while the two were setting fire to a building on an air base within the Commonwealth of Ames.
In a previous trial, Blair had been convicted for the same homicide of his confederate. That conviction was reversed. Arguing for Griswold Club, Edward G. Bauer 3L and Clark L. Wagner 3L maintained that the second trial was a violation of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. W. John Kennedy 3L and Daniel F. O'Hern 3L of Kaplan Club contended that the Constitution did not bar a retrial of Blair's case.
Another major issue in the case was whether Blair, by invoking the Fifth Amendment before a grand jury and testifying in his own defense had waived his constitutional right not to be questioned on the witness stand about his prior claim of immunity. The question is currently before the United States Supreme Court and will be argued this term.