Student Court associate justice resigns, leaving vacancy behind

Updated: July 29, 2021 at 1:41 p.m.

A Student Court associate justice resigned from his position Friday, leaving one vacancy open on the court for the Student Association president to fill.

Associate Justice William Brown, a rising second-year law student, resigned from his seat Friday after deciding to transfer to Columbia Law School for the fall semester, according to his resignation letter that was shared with The Hatchet. Brown was confirmed by the Student Association Senate last month, and SA President Brandon Hill will now need to nominate another student to serve as the seventh justice on the court.

“While it would have been an honor to serve on the Court this academic year, I have made the decision to continue my studies at Columbia Law School this fall,” Brown said in the letter addressed to Chief Justice Yun-Da Tsai. “Thank you to you, the President and the Student Senate for the ability to become a member of the Court and to serve, however briefly. I wish everyone the absolute best going forward.”

Brown declined to comment, and Hill did not return a request for comment.

In an email shared with The Hatchet, Tsai said the Student Court must contain three undergraduate students and three graduate students to fill six of the court’s seven seats, as required by the SA’s bylaws. Tsai said the SA can choose to fill the seventh seat with either a graduate or undergraduate depending on the president’s nomination, meaning Hill’s next nomination will determine the court’s majority.

The SA Senate has confirmed five justices since May, including Brown and Tsai – who previously served as an associate justice.

The SA increased the number of Student Court justices from five to seven when it overhauled its bylaws last spring, raising the threshold for majority rule decisions from three to four concurring justices. The updated bylaws also expanded the court’s jurisdiction to reach students outside the SA.

This post has been updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Student Court confirmed five justices since May. The SA Senate confirmed the justices. We regret this error.

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