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Supreme Court to Hold Oral Arguments, Community Dinner in Worthington

Posted: Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Minnesota Supreme Court will visit Worthington, Minn., this fall as part of a biannual program that seeks to teach students about the court system and build the public’s trust and confidence in the Judicial Branch. During their visit, the Court will hold an informal community dinner on Tuesday, September 30 that is open to the public. On the morning of Wednesday, October 1, the state’s highest court will convene in Worthington Senior High School to hear oral arguments on a real court case in front of approximately 1,000 area high school students.

“Increasing public awareness and understanding of our justice system is one of the Court’s highest priorities,” said Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “We are looking forward to meeting with residents in the Worthington area, and giving local high school students the chance to learn more about our justice system in Minnesota.”

Public invited to a “Meet Your Court” community dinner
On the evening of Tuesday, September 30, all area residents are invited to the Worthington Event Center (1477 Prairie Drive, Worthington, MN) to meet the Supreme Court justices and district court judges and ask questions over dinner.  Dinner, which will begin at 6:00 p.m., will include rotisserie turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, garden salad, and apple pie.

Tickets to the event will be $15 and are available for purchase through the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.  Ticket prices cover the cost of the meal, and are non-refundable.

To order tickets, please visit the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce office or call the Chamber at (507) 372-2919.  Please visit www.mncourts.gov/Worthington to view the invitation and registration form.  Tickets will not be available at the door and payment must be made at the time the tickets are ordered.  Seating is limited. 

Area students to watch oral arguments on a real court case
The Minnesota Supreme Court will convene in the gymnasium of Worthington Senior High School at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1. Students from Worthington Senior High, Worthington ALC, Murray County Central Schools, and high schools in Luverne, Adrian, Windom, and Fulda will fill the auditorium to watch the event.

The Court will hear oral arguments on an actual court case, State of Minnesota v. Roger Benedict Schmid, A13-0337. Following the oral arguments, the Supreme Court justices will hold a question-and-answer session with students, share lunch with student representatives, and spend the afternoon visiting classrooms. 

In the weeks leading up to the Court’s visit, local members of the Minnesota State Bar Association and judges of the Fifth Judicial District will volunteer their time to visit area classrooms to help students understand the Supreme Court oral argument process, and the case that will be before the Court on October 1.

 “The Worthington School District is extremely excited about the opportunity to host the Minnesota Supreme Court.  This is a once in a life time experience for our students and the surrounding schools, and it will provide an educational learning experience that can have a lasting impact.  Our district truly appreciates the opportunity to highlight the judicial system for the southwest area of Minnesota.  This is an honor to show students the legal system at the highest level of our state,” said John Landgaard, Superintendent of School District 518. 

Members of the public in the Worthington community who wish to view the oral arguments and the question-and-answer session may do so live via the Internet beginning at 8:30 a.m. at  http://www.wgtntv3.com/.  A live broadcast will also be available on local cable access.  For subscribers of Knology, the broadcast will be available on Channel 3.  For subscribers of Mediacom, the broadcast will be aired on Channel 17. 

Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, Minn., in 1995, school visits have taken center stage in the Court’s public outreach and education efforts. The Worthington event marks the fortieth in-school oral arguments for the Court.

For more information on the Supreme Court and a guide to oral arguments, please visit: http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=550.