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2017

Supreme Court invites teachers, students to experience Court with Class

Madison, Wisconsin - August 17, 2017

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in cooperation with the State Bar of Wisconsin, invites high-school classes from throughout Wisconsin to Madison to participate in the award-winning Court with Class program.

Since 1996, thousands of public, private and home-schooled students have benefited from this educational program, which allows students to personally observe oral argument in the Supreme Court Hearing Room at the state Capitol.

"The Supreme Court is pleased to again offer this tremendous opportunity for students to learn first-hand about our legal system, the judiciary and the vital role the courts play in our lives and our democracy," said Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack.

Students come away from Court with Class with a better understanding of the Supreme Court, the judicial branch of government and the legal issues involved in a case being heard by the state Supreme Court. They learn that judges must resolve disputes according to the law and the facts of a case.

  • Before visiting, teachers receive plain-language case summaries to help students understand the issues at stake in a particular case.
  • During oral argument, students hear lawyers on each side make their strongest arguments while being questioned by justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • After oral argument, students meet with a justice—not to discuss the case, but to discuss the role of a justice and how a case is decided.

Teachers who have taken advantage of Court with Class say they value and appreciate the learning opportunity it presents:

"I wanted to send out a note of thanks on behalf of all of the families in our home school government and civics class. We had opportunity to experience field trips to courts in three different counties and all levels of the judiciary, each providing their unique frame of reference on the judicial branch of government in Wisconsin," wrote one home school teacher from Southeast Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court's 2017-18 Court with Class calendar runs from September to April, with the first argument scheduled for Sept. 5, 2017.

Teachers interested in applying for Court with Class may download and complete a registration form from the State Bar's website and submit by e-mail to Supreme Court Deputy Marshal Kevin Pond, kevin.pond@wicourts.gov. For more information, visit the State Bar’s website, or contact Kevin by email or at (608) 261-4313. Space is limited.

Teachers and students who are unable to make it to Madison in person may view arguments live or archived online on WisconsinEye. A live audio stream and archived recordings of past oral arguments are also available online. Additional teaching resources are available on the Wisconsin court system’s website. Synopses of past cases can be found at http://www.wicourts.gov/supreme/sc_oralargs.jsp

Contact:
Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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