Supreme Judicial Court Hosts High School Students for Law Day Activities at the John Adams Courthouse
BOSTON, MA -- A group of approximately 100 high school students from Fenway High School and Cathedral High School today participated in Law Day activities at the Supreme Judicial Court, where they had the opportunity to learn from and interact with SJC Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Justice Margot Botsford and Justice Geraldine S. Hines; current and former law clerks; and attorneys. This year's Law Day theme is Miranda: More than Words.
The day began with a theatrical performance by Theatre Espresso called Justice at War about a case that was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the constitutionality of detaining Japanese Americans in United States internment camps during World War II.
After the performance, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Gants, Justice Botsford and Justice Hines spoke to the students in the Seven Justice Courtroom. They talked to the students about Miranda rights, and explained the procedural protections under the U.S. Constitution and how these rights are safeguarded by the courts. They also talked about their roles as judges, the structure of the court system, and shared their personal experiences with the students.
Students then met in small groups with attorneys from the SJC Law Clerk Society, who are former law clerks of the court, to discuss the role of courts and the rule of law in a democratic society. The former law clerks led students through a series of hands-on exercises that encouraged in-depth discussions on current legal topics designed to illustrate and emphasize the Law Day theme.
The students also had the opportunity to be view exhibits in the John Adams Courthouse, including the John Adams Exhibit Room, where they learned about John Adams and his role as the architect of the American system of government. They also viewed the Sacco and Vanzetti exhibit and learned how a miscarriage of justice occurred in that case and the changes to the system that resulted.
Law Day was established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 as a day to recognize the principles of government under the law, and the nation’s rich heritage of liberty and justice. Celebrations commemorating Law Day take place every May in courthouses throughout Massachusetts