Justices eager to meet students, public Thursday

Published on Thursday, 16 February 2017 10:29 - Written by Glenn Evans, gevans@news-journal.com

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Audience and live-stream viewers of today’s Texas Supreme Court session in Longview might learn more than the justices questioning the lawyers.

“It’s so important for the public to understand the three branches of government and the rule of law,” Justice Debra Lehrmann said Wednesday as she and her eight fellow justices took their first look at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center where they will hear two cases beginning at 9 a.m. today.

“That’s the reason the court feels it’s important to go to different locations across the state. ... It helps people realize that it’s real - it’s not some faraway, distant thing,” she said.

This particular location might stay with the judges after they leave, if only for the unprecedented 815 high school and 220 college students coming from as far as Dallas.

“We want them to see how the court works,” Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said of students in the audience, which is expected to approach the Belcher Center’s 2,011-seat capacity. “We want them to see that this is a very deliberative body. We ask a lot of questions. We probe into the parties’ issues. It’s not about what side you’re on, it’s not about any bias. It’s a judge trying to get to the real issues.”

Justices will hear two cases by 11 a.m. today, when they will head to a luncheon in their honor while a legal career fair gets underway in the Belcher Center’s Grand Lobby. A dozen law schools were setting up booths Wednesday to attract students.

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The justices will spend this afternoon teaching continuing education classes for the 200 or so lawyers from across the region who are expected in town.

To read the full story visit the Longview News Journa herel: https://www.news-journal.com/news/2017/feb/15/justices-eager-to-meet-students-public-today/