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Minnesota Supreme Court Convenes at Eden Prairie High School

Posted: Thursday, May 05, 2011

Over 700 students watched as the Minnesota Supreme Court convened at Eden Prairie High School today in an effort to open the doors of the Judicial Branch to the public.

The state’s highest court heard oral arguments of an actual case, State of Minnesota, Appellant v. Melissa Jean Crawley, Respondent (Case No. A09-1795), which originated in Winona County District Court.  The Court generally issues its opinions four to six months following oral arguments.  Opinions are available at www.mncourts.gov.

“We are committed to ensuring that the people of Minnesota understand that the court system exists for them,” said Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “Visiting high schools is especially important because we can engage young people at a time when they are learning their role in our democracy and what it means to live in a society governed by laws.”

“Reaching out to the people of Minnesota has long been one of the court’s highest priorities,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “Meeting students and answering their questions helps to promote a better understanding of the Judicial Branch. The court also reaps the benefit of exchanging ideas with the next generation of leaders.  I am proud of this important program and pleased to have opened the court to the young people of Eden Prairie.”

As part of a corporate local volunteer effort, attorneys from Minnetonka-based United Health Group, which is not connected with the suit, partnered with Eden Prairie High School to conduct classroom discussions at the school in order to help prepare students and staff for the visit. 

Following today’s arguments, the justices answered students’ questions on a wide variety of topics. Justices and other distinguished guests also ate lunch with Eden Prairie students.  In the afternoon, justices visited classrooms at Eden Prairie High School, Central Middle School, and Oak Point Intermediate School. 

Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, MN, in 1995, the school visits have taken center stage in the Court’s efforts to build the public’s trust and confidence in the judiciary.  The Eden Prairie High School event marks the 33rd oral argument for students.

About the Minnesota Judiciary

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is made up of 10 judicial districts with 289 district court judgeships, 19 Court of Appeals judges, and seven Supreme Court justices.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch is governed by the Judicial Council, which is chaired by Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch is mandated by the Minnesota Constitution to resolve disputes promptly and without delay, and handles approximately 2 million cases per year.  The Minnesota Supreme Court hears appeals from the Court of Appeals, Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals and Tax Court, and it reviews first-degree murder convictions and election disputes.  For more information please visit www.mncourts.gov