Shea Kennedy Hartig from Saipan International School was awarded the Attorney General Cup last Friday.
Hartig, who placed second in the 2017 AG’s Cup speech competition, came back stronger this year and it paid off, becoming the 2018 AG’s Cup speech competition champion.
Hartig, a sophomore at SIS, had her father, lawyer Douglas Hartig, as her coach. According to her, it made preparing for the event easier.
“[Preparing involved] a lot of stressful nights sitting with my dad, a lot of ideas getting shot down, staring at the ceiling for hours on end until something hits you,” she said.
Hartig did admit being caught off-guard when it was announced that she won. “Honestly, it was very unexpected and I am very flattered that I was seen as deserving. …Nobody really expects to win. You just put in the hard work and you hope that it pays off,” she said
Hartig also received the 2018 Mock Trial Best Lawyer award, and was also named the 2018 Lincoln-Douglas Debate winner. Hartig has been participating in mock trial from 6th to 9th grade.
Coming in at second was Mount Carmel School’s Kelvin Diaz Cepeda, and completing the Top 3 was Kelvin Wolf of Marianas High School.
Hartig and her co-competitors presented a speech concerning the Insular Cases Doctrine, in which Congress can choose which portions of the U.S. Constitution applies to “unincorporated territories,” including the CNMI.
“The issue this year was definitely more difficult and it involved a lot more research because it had a specific case that we had to study,” she said. “My position was that the (Insular Cases Doctrine) does apply to the territories and that it’s a good thing because it gives the indigenous people of the CNMI the freedom to choose how they want to protect their culture and how they want to pursue their own legal system.”
The other students who competed in the AG’s Cup speech competition were Stephen Carino from Saipan Southern High School, Ella Eusebio from Kagman High School, John Robert Tam from Eucon International School, Min Ju Kang from Marianas Baptist Academy, and Louis Ao Feng Zheng from Grace Christian Academy.