New Orleans – Monday afternoon at Tulane students and the public got the chance to sit in while the Louisiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments to real cases. A rare glimpse into the complicated process at how a case makes it’s way to the state’s highest court.
“I really liked when the justices were being really active and it was kind of a hot bench. I thought it was a more productive argument. They also signal about the issues they care about in the case. So, the advocates were better able to respond to that.”Jacob McCarthy, 2nd year Tulane Law Student
One case involved a life sentence for 30 dollars worth of marijuana. Another case involved a suspects’ Miranda Rights. Students who sat in credited their professors for being able to keep up with the complicated process.
“We saw very interesting arguments from both sides. From the state and the various different defense attorneys. So, just getting to soak up all their experience. Also, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court did say that this was a learning experience for the law students, as well. It was really great to see them develop their arguments. Decorum in the court room and all kinds of things like that.”Antonio Milton, 1st year Tulane Law Student
Law students said their professors had prepared them for what they were going to see Monday afternoon, by showing them in the classroom during mock trials.
“Our professors try to do a lot of what the court was doing, which is how the law is supposed to operate within the facts. I think the faculty here all do a really good job. It was pretty similar to how the justices were questioning the attorneys.”Jacob McCarthy, 2nd year Tulane Law Student
The difference here was that these were real cases, involving real people.
“As we decline from the most incarcerating capitol in the world, I think it’s pretty important to take these decisions not lightly.”Antonio Milton, 1st year Tulane Law Student
The students got to only sit in for the very beginning of the cases. However some walked away with a different view after sitting in with the state’s highest judges.