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Andrew Ceonzo

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School George Mason University

Season Summer 2023

Andrew Ceonzo

Summer Law Clerk


Law School: George Mason University – Antonin Scalia Law School

Hometown: New York City, NY

Campus Activities: George Mason Law Review, Federalist Society (Executive Vice President), Alternative Dispute Resolution Society

What were your duties as an NCLA intern? I assisted attorneys with all aspects of litigation. Some projects included long term legal research projects for petitions for certiorari at SCOTUS, various motions briefs, and complaints. Other tasks included being an extra hand for whatever the attorneys needed done, such as editing, proofreading, cite checking, factual research, expert witness research, and oral argument preparations.

What did you most enjoy about your internship? I really enjoyed getting to see the litigation sausage get made. The ivory tower of law school doctrinal courses could not be more different than the real-world litigation environment. I gained so much insight into what it means to be a practicing litigator from the incredible team of experienced, passionate, and dedicated attorneys at NCLA. And getting to work on Supreme Court petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs is pretty cool.

What interesting thing(s) did you learn about administrative law? Administrative law is the constitutional twilight zone. While some courts truly engage with the arguments, some judges are too quick to fall back on questionable precedents whose facts no longer reflect the reality on the ground. And too many judges still think the Constitution doesn’t apply to the administrative state. I also learned a great deal about administrative procedure and how to navigate the Federal Register. If there’s an official rule that interests you, then go read it on the Federal Register–your government must follow the Constitution and the rule of law by promulgating that regulation for you to read.

How might you use what you’ve learned later in your professional career? I have a much better understanding of what it means to be a litigator and part of a litigation team. Behind that signature block on a brief is a great deal of work from many dedicated professionals. After this summer, I am prepared to serve as a member of a litigation team and know what good senior leadership looks like.

Any advice for other students who want to intern at NCLA in the future? Read through NCLA’s cases–the briefs, the government’s briefs, and the opinions. Having a working knowledge of the big issues and precedents will serve you well in your application and career–everything is secretly an administrative law issue. It will also inspire you to join NCLA because reading about the administrative state’s abuses will crystallize why it must be checked.

Courts Must Distinguish Between the Bully Pulpit and Bullying to Stop Abridgements of Free Speech

By: Andrew Ceonzo June 16, 2023
Blogs
The Constitution allows the government to express its views from the bully pulpit but prohibits bullying people into silence. The government generally may select its views and say what it wishes. But the Supreme Court made clear in Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963) that government may not resort to even “informal sanctions,” such as “the threat of invoking…
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