Friday, February 27, 2015

Courtroom to Classroom – Our New Program

Flash for all teachers! The Ohio Supreme Court has just started a new civic education program. Courtroom to Classroom allows students to watch live-streaming video of oral arguments and have local attorneys help them learn more about the judicial system through a real Supreme Court case.

Students from Westland High School in Galloway and London High School were the first to participate.

Last week, two local lawyers met the students in each school to discuss Arlie Risner v. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, a case that was argued on Wednesday.

We justices were asked to decide whether Ohio law allows the Department of Natural Resources to receive money restitution for the value of a deer from a hunter who illegally killed it when the hunter was fined and the ODNR already had possession of the deer’s remains.

After watching the oral arguments online in their classrooms, the attorneys who had prepared the students debriefed them and encouraged them to ask questions about the proceedings they had observed.

This program is a great companion to our Off-Site Court Program where the justices travel outside Columbus twice a year to hear oral arguments. Students from the counties we visit watch our oral arguments live either in their high schools or at the county courthouse.  They then can talk to the attorneys who just argued before the court.

With Courtroom to Classroom, students can stay in class yet still benefit from watching live arguments. There is no need to arrange the transportation that is often a financial barrier in bringing students to the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.
So, teachers – if you think your school would be interested in participating in Courtroom to Classroom, contact or 614-387-9223 for more information.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Our Time to Honor Black History

February is Black History Month – a time when we honor African Americans and remember important events in our history.

United States Courts created a video profile of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffery P. Hopkins of Cincinnati.

Judge Hopkins explains how he and his family moved to Ohio after his uncle was murdered by a sheriff in Georgia and what it was like living in the segregated south.

Click below to hear Judge Hopkin’s inspiring story, and his path to the federal district court bench.