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Students in Mr. Ryan Brueckmann’s AP Government classes simulated a Supreme Court hearing with nine justices, six petitioners, six respondents, and three cases on March 28-30. The cases that were debated included Morse v Frederich, Berghuis v Thompkins, and Florida v Jardines.

This project gave the students an insight into how Supreme Court cases work and challenged students to finding previous cases that provided evidence.

Senior Nicholas Pruett played the role of the Supreme Court Chief Justice.

“Playing Chief Justice was basically the same as playing any other justice, but acting like I was the boss and had all the power,” Pruett said. “My favorite part by far was being able to interrupt the lawyers pretty much at anytime with questions.”

The most challenging part for the justices was coming up with relevant and important questions for each case to help reach a verdict.

Senior Ethan Hughes was one of the petitioners for Berghuis v Thompkins alongside senior Luke Jacobi.

“Being the petitioner meant that we were advocating for a reverse of the previous court decision, so we had to craft reasons why our view of the constitutional issues at hand were more correct than our opponents,” Hughes said.

The challenge for Hughes was having to condense information, so that they could get their ideas and reasons across to the justices in a short period of time.

Senior MikaElla Rectin was one of the respondents for the same case alongside senior Cesar Acosta.

“My case focused on the topic of the 5th Amendment which deals with incrimination of an individual,” Rectin said. “Specifically in this case was whether or not the individual being interrogated waived his right to remain silent by sitting in silence. Being a respondent was a little nerve wrecking because you have nine justices in front of you asking multiple questions at once.”

 

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