FAIRMONT, Minn. (KEYC) — The 50th traveling oral argument of the Minnesota Supreme Court visited Fairmont High School, joined by six other area schools, to hear a live oral argument of a real case Wednesday.
More than 900 students from Blue Earth Area Senior High School, Granada-Huntly-East Chain, Martin County West, Martin Luther, Redwood Valley and Truman gathered inside the Performing Arts Center to hear both sides of the case.
“They’re very good at thinking on the fly, they’re quick on their feet,” Fairmont High School junior Ameya Komaragiri said.
This opportunity was a two-way street, one for the Minnesota Judiciary to connect with the community.
“Studies show that the judicial branch of government is the least understood branch of government,” Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said.
“We don’t necessarily interact with people on a daily basis. You can go to your legislature and see what kind of laws are being passed, the governors on the front page of the newspaper every day – but what we do is a little harder to translate into easily consumable information,” Associate Justice Barry Anderson said.
The rare opportunity let students come face to face for a Q&A with the highest person in the state's court system.
“Generally, students don’t put themselves very high on that pyramid – but then we have the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court here and those people who may not consider themselves very high, they just get to skip all those levels and be able to talk one–on–one with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, of any of the Associate Justices, for that matter,” said Tyson Geerdes, a senior at Fairmont High School.
To conclude the evening, student leaders who are involved in Fairmont High School’s Mock Trial program served as guides around the school to the visiting justices.