(Olympia, Wash.)—Washington’s highest court travels to The Evergreen State College May 8 and 9, giving students and local citizens a front-row opportunity to watch how nine elected judges interpret the state’s constitution on behalf of all the people of Washington.
Sponsored by the Geoduck Student Union, highlights of the court’s visit will include a public forum and official court hearings that will be open to the public.
“At this moment in our nation's history, the courts provide critical checks and balances to actions by our executive and legislative branches of government,” said George Bridges, president of The Evergreen State College. “In this role, they protect and sustain our democracy.”
May 8, the justices will tour the campus, have lunch with student leaders, visit classrooms, participate in a public forum, and attend a reception. On May 9, the court will hear oral arguments on three actively pending cases, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst.
“Every day at Evergreen our students and faculty members research and debate the law, but it is far from every day we can engage with those who establish the law,” said Sandra Kaiser, vice president for college relations at Evergreen. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students to intimately observe our judicial process and engage with the justices of our state’s highest court.”
The Washington Supreme Court has heard cases “on the road” several times a year since 1985 in an effort to allow citizens to see the court in action in communities throughout the state.
“The Supreme Court’s Traveling Court program is a chance for the justices to bring the court to the people,” said Wendy Ferrell, a spokesperson for the court. “Students, nearby residents or anyone interested in learning more about the judicial branch of government, or to see the workings of the highest court up close and personal are welcome to attend.”
State Supreme Court at Evergreen: Public Events
3 – 4 p.m. Public forum moderated by Evergreen Academic Dean Scott Coleman
9:00 – 10:25 a.m. Court Session 1 Roland Killian and Dennis Bailey v. International Union of Operating Engineers, State of Washington v. Anthony Albert Joseph
10:25 – 10:55 a.m. Audience Q&A moderated by Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst
1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Court Session 2 State of Washington v. Joshua Michael Barnes
2:15 – 2:45 a.m. Audience Q&A moderated by Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst
All public events to be held in Recital Hall in Evergreen’s Communication Building.