Religious Liberty Clinic Students Argue Two Ninth Circuit Appeals

In a span of two months, Religious Liberty Clinic students presented supervised oral argument for clients in two cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The first case involves an inmate’s challenge to his prison’s refusal to provide him access to the natural anointing oils his faith requires. The second case concerns another inmate’s challenge to his prison’s discriminatory exclusion from the sacred grounds and rituals he needs to practice his faith.

On March 14, 2024, Caleb Blackerby (JD ’24) and Collin Fredricks (JD ’24) argued Chernetsky v. State of Nevada. They were supported at court—and in their co-writing of the reply brief—by Jack Gleiberman (JD ’25), as well as the team of Siena Marcelle (JD ’24) and Nathan Weiser (JD ’24) who wrote the opening brief last year. On appeal, the Clinic challenged a lower court judgment for the prison. After argument, the Ninth Circuit not only reversed but remanded for judgment in the Clinic client’s favor. A video of the argument can be found here.

(left to right) Religious Liberty Clinic Students Caleb Blackerby (JD ’24) and Collin Fredricks (JD ’24) argued their client’s case before the Ninth Circuit. Jack Gleiberman (JD ’25), not pictured here, contributed to the argument as well.

On May 13, 2024, the Religious Liberty Clinic returned to the Ninth Circuit in Guardado v. State of Nevada. This time, Katharine Kreitzberg (JD’ 25) and Elizabeth Spaeth (JD ’25) presented the argument, supported by the briefs written by students from last year—David Slate (JD ’24) and Catherina Xu (JD ’24) on the opening brief; George Muirhead (JD ’24), Matt Rodriguez (JD ’24), and Katherine Viti (JD ’24) on the reply brief. Although the Ninth Circuit’s decision is pending, the students did an outstanding job. A video of the oral argument can be found here.

(left to right) Katharine Kreitzberg (JD ’25) and Elizabeth Spaeth (JD ’25)