Justices Give Hastings Area High School Students an Inside View of the Nebraska Supreme Court

Justices Give Hastings Area High School Students an Inside View of the Nebraska Supreme Court

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Hastings High School auditorium quieted as Junior Joshua Torres announced, “All Rise” and gave the Court Call while serving as student bailiff for Nebraska Supreme Court.  Justices, lawyers, and staff visited Hastings High School for arguments in November 2021 in an effort to raise awareness of court processes and the importance of civics education to society.  

Students watched the two scheduled arguments and spent the balance of the morning asking questions of the justices. The cases, Susman v. Kearney Towing & Repair Center (Buffalo County District Court) and Clark v. Sargent Irrigation District (Custer County District Court) were argued after Hastings County Court Judge Michael Mead gave students an overview of the court process.

Following arguments, Torres was interviewed by local news KFXL and observed, “Even though it was just a hearing, and no official opinions were shown, I thought it was a wonderful experience.”

“It was a good opportunity not only for Hastings, Hastings Public Schools, and Hastings Sr. High School, but also for the surrounding schools that were able to take advantage of this (program),” remarked High School Principal Thomas Szlanda. Visiting schools included Doniphan-Trumbull, Aurora, Sandy Creek, North Platte, Adams Central, St. Cecilia, Sutton, and Kearney.

Three high schools visits are held annually through the Court’s outreach program. McCook High School will host the Court in May to mark Law Day 2022. The Court will also visit an Omaha area school after their annual arguments at Creighton School of Law, followed by the third visit in fall 2022. The Court is invited by schools that want to host an oral argument – which requires an auditorium stage with a court bench and heightened security, with the State Patrol treating the space as an official state courtroom. 

View story on KFXL (NTV News): Students learn ins-and-outs of the Judicial Branch from Nebraska Supreme Court Justices

Read story in the Hastings Tribune: Justice in Action: State Supreme Court Holds Session at Hastings High School


Photo: The Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments and answers questions from Hastings High School students as part of its outreach argument program in November at the Hastings High School Tiger Auditorium. Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman was recused from both cases.