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Published by the Kansas Bar Foundation
Editor: Crystal Marietta, Attorney at Law, Pittsburg
Coordinators: Ron Keefover, Kansas Supreme Court and Btissam Touijer, Kansas Bar Association
Greetings from the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Bar Association. The theme for this edition of Law Wise is A Summary of Landmark Cases.
In this issue:
Calendar of Events
- March 21 - 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mock Trial State Tournament
- April 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kansas Supreme Court in Session
- April 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kansas Court of Appeals in Session -
Johnson Co. Community College
- April 22 - 23. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kansas Court of Appeals in Session - Topeka
- April 22 - 23. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kansas Court of Appeals in Session - Wichita
- May 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Law Day - Independent Courts Protect Our Liberties
- May 8-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . National Mock Trial Championship, New Orleans, LA
- May 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kansas Supreme Court in Session
Landmark Cases In Supreme Court History
Throughout the history of America, the Supreme Court has been faced with making decisions that have been pivotal in shaping our country. The following collection of cases, while certainly not exhaustive, serve to showcase some of the issues the Supreme Court has dealt with and how they have affected our nation as we know it.
1. Marbury v. Madison, 1803
"A law repugnant to the Constitution is void."
With these words, Chief Justice John Marshall established the Supreme Court's role in the new government. Hereafter, the Court was recognized as having the power to review all acts of Congress where constitutionality was at issue, and judge whether they abide by the Constitution. For further treatment on this monumental case, turn to Terrific Technology for Teachers for a more detailed analysis.
2. McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819
"The constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof are supreme…they control the constitution and laws of the respective states, and cannot be controlled by them."
Chief Justice Marshall invoked this phrase to establish the right of Congress to pass laws that are "necessary and proper" to conduct the business of the U.S. government. Here, the court upheld Congress' power to create a national bank. The bank was also not subject to tax in Maryland, the state where the bank was located, because the bank was an instrument of the federal government being used to execute constitutional powers.
3. Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824
When a federal and state law are in conflict, the federal law is supreme.
Congress and New York had both passed laws regulating the steamboat industry. Gibbons had a federal permit for a steamboat business; Ogden had a state permit for the same waters. Siding with Gibbons, the Court said that, in matters of interstate commerce, the "Supremacy Clause" tilts the balance of power in favor of federal legislation.
4. Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857
The Constitution does not consider slaves to be U.S. citizens. Rather, they are constitutionally protected property of their masters.
Chief Justice Roger Taney authored this opinion-one of the most important and scorned in the nation's history. Dred Scott, a slave, had moved with his master to Illinois, a free state. He moved again to a slave state, Missouri, and filed suit to gain freedom, under that state's law of "Once free, always free." Taney held that Scott had never been free at all, and cited Constitutional grounds for placing the slavery decision in the hands of the states. In trying to put an end to the slavery controversy, Taney instead sped the nation toward civil war. The decision was later overturned by the 13th Amendment.
5. Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896
Jim Crow laws are constitutional under the doctrine of "Separate but Equal."
Police arrested Homer Plessy for refusing to leave a railroad car that prohibited "colored" people. Under Louisiana law, Plessy was "colored" because he was one-eighth black. The Court ruled that the race-based "Jim Crow" laws did not violate the Constitution as long as the states proffered separate but equal treatment.
6. Lochner v. New York, 1905
The Constitution bars a state from interfering with an employee's right to contract with an employer.
The above reasoning led to the "Lochner Era"-32 years of wrangling between the court and legislatures. Lochner's bakery violated a New York labor law. The court struck down the law, saying that the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause barred states from regulating commerce in this manner. This clause, the Court said, implied that individuals have a fundamental right to contract with employers, and states cannot interfere with that right.
7. Near v. Minnesota, 1931
"The liberty of the press...is safeguarded from invasion by state action."
Although the First Amendment ensures a free press, until this case, it only protected the press from federal laws, not state laws. Minnesota shut down J.M. Near's Saturday Press for publishing vicious anti-Semitic and racist remarks. In what is regarded as the landmark free-press decision, the Court ruled that a state cannot engage in "prior restraint;" that is, with rare exceptions, it cannot stop a person from publishing or expressing a thought.
8. West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 1937
"The switch in time that saved nine."
F.D.R. rallied against the Court's holdings in the Lochner Era; the Court struck down New Deal laws, designed to pull the country out of the Depression, on grounds that they interfered with a worker's "right to contract." F.D.R. pledged to expand the Court and pack it with pro "New Deal" members. In this case, the Court rejected the Lochner era decisions and said the government could regulate commerce.
9. Brown v. Board of Education, 1954
"In the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place."
This unanimous decision marked the beginning of the end for the "Separate But Equal" era that started with Plessy, and the start of a new period of American race relations. With Brown, desegregation of public schools began-as did resistance to it. Ten contentious years later, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made racial equality a matter of federal law.
10. Mapp v. Ohio, 1961
Evidence that is illegally obtained by the state may not be used against a defendant in court.
Until Mapp, only the federal government was barred from using illegally obtained evidence. So when local police entered Dolly Mapp's home without a search warrant and arrested her for possessing obscene books, her conviction initially stood. The Court overturned her conviction, however, and extended the Constitutional rule to apply to the states and their subdivisions.
11. Baker v. Carr, 1962
"One person, one vote."
The above phrase was not authored until a year after Baker, but it has its philosophical roots here. In this case, a group of Tennessee voters sued the state, claiming its voting districts diluted their political power. Until this point, the Court refused to decide this kind of case, leaving such "political questions" to the states. Baker, however, held that the states must meet a Constitutional standard for appointment: districts cannot be drawn in such a way that they violate the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
12. Gideon v. Wainwright, 1963
Defendants in criminal cases have an absolute right to counsel.
Too poor to afford a lawyer, Clarence Earl Gideon was convicted for breaking into a poolroom-a felony crime in Florida. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government must provide free counsel to accused criminals who cannot pay for it themselves. At first, the ruling applied to felonies only. It was later extended to cover any cases where the penalty was six months imprisonment or longer.
13. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 1964
To win a libel case, public figures must prove "actual malice" on the part of the writer.
In 1964, the Times published an ad critical of an elected commissioner of an Alabama city. The commissioner sued for libel and won. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling, and said that, to ensure "uninhibited, robust and wideopen" debate about public figures, the law must protect writers from libel suits. Thus, unless the words are penned with "knowing falsity" or "reckless disregard for the truth," a writer cannot be successfully sued by a public figure for libel.
14. Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965
The Constitution implies a right to privacy in matters of contraception between married people.
Estelle Griswold, the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic, broke an 1879 Connecticut law banning contraception. The Court struck down the law, making it a landmark case in which the Court read the Constitution to protect individual privacy. This was to be the foundation of further privacy rulings, including the right to privacy in matters of abortion.
15. Miranda v. Arizona, 1966
"You have the right to remain silent..."
After police questioning, Ernesto Miranda confessed to kidnapping and raping a woman. The Court struck down his conviction, on grounds that he was not informed of his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Hereafter, the Miranda warnings have been a standard feature of arrest procedures.
16. San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 1973
The Constitution does not guarantee a fundamental right to education.
In 1968, a group of low-income parents sued San Antonio, claiming the city's wealthy precincts had better schools. The Court upheld the districting plan, saying that the Constitution did not guarantee an education, and upholding this tenent: The Constitution does not compel government to provide services like education or welfare to the people. Rather, it places boundaries on government action.
17. Roe v. Wade, 1973
The Constitutionally implied right to privacy protects a woman's choice in matters of abortion.
Norma McCorvey sought an abortion in Texas, but was denied under state law. The Court struck down that law, on grounds that it unconstitutionally restricted the woman's right to choose. The opinion set forth guidelines for state abortion regulations; states could restrict a woman's right to choose only in the later stages of the pregnancy. Later modified but not overruled, the decision stands as one of the Court's most controversial.
18. United States v. Nixon, 1974
"Neither separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality can sustain unqualified Presidential immunity from the judicial process"
President Nixon sought precisely this type of immunity, rather than relinquishing the famous White House tapes during the Watergate scandal. The Court unanimously rejected his plea as an unconstitutional power play. The House began impeachment proceedings shortly there-after, and two weeks after the ruling, Nixon resigned.
19. Texas v. Johnson, 1989
The Constitution protects desecration of the flag as a form of symbolic speech.
Johnson burned a flag in front of a Dallas building in 1984. He was convicted of violating a Texas law that made it a crime to intentionally desecrate a state or national flag. Justice Brennan wrote for a 5-to-4 majority that "Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."
20. Cruzan v. Missouri Dept. of Health, 1990.
While the Constitution protects a person's right to reject life-preserving medical treatment - their "right to die" - states can regulate that interest if the regulation is reasonable.
Nancy Cruzan lay in a permanent vegetative state as a result of injuries suffered in an auto accident. Her parents sought to withdraw life-sustaining treatment and allow her to die, claiming she'd said this would be her wish under such circumstances. The state refused, and the Supreme Court upheld the state's guidelines for the continuation of medical treatment, which allowed withdrawal of treatment only with clear and convincing evidence that this is what the patient would have wanted. The Court said that, given the need to protect against abuses of such situations, the state can continue life support as long as its standards for doing so are reasonable.
This article, titled 20 Landmark Cases In Supreme Court History, can be found at http://educatetheusa.com/sbody2.shtml . Please note that the article has been edited in some parts to better suit this publication.
The ABA has a free newsletter that contains information on law-related education. Law Matters, which reports on developments, ideas, programs, and resources in the field of public education about the law, is published three times each year (winter, summer, fall). For information on ordering, contact the ABA at (312) 988-5735 or email@example.com.
Resources at the Law-Related Education Inventory
The Law-Related Education Inventory has the following items which might be useful in discussing the Supreme Court:
Constitution: A Framework to Govern the Nation. This video is geared for high school students and addresses the basic Constitutional framework. Includes a program guide and list of issues raised. Library number 342/C766.
This Honorable Court. This video includes interviews with U.S Supreme Court justices about how the court functions and is for elementary students. Library number 347.035/W53t.
The Law-Related Education Inventory has many resources to help teach about
law-related topics. To order a catalog, call Btissam Touijer at the Kansas Bar
Association, (785) 234-5696. The Kansas Bar Association and the lawyers in your community sponsor the Law-Related Education Inventory. The clearinghouse will mail free copies of law-related posters, games, mock trials, booklets, lesson plans, and other aids. It is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The director of the Teachers College Resource Center, which houses the Law-Related Education Inventory, Marla Darby, can be reached at Darbymar@esumail.emporia.edu/
Terrific Technology for Teachers
- For more information on arguably one of the most important cases in history, Marbury v. Madison, go to http://writ.findlaw.com/commentary/20030224_grossman.html.
- For a student handout about Marbury v. Madison created by the Minnesota Center for Community Legal Education at the University of Minnesota, click on http://www.ccle.fourh.umn.edu/marbury.pdf.
- For two excellent websites with information on landmark cases, check out http://www.landmarkcases.org and http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/supreme_court/landmark.html.
Lesson Plan #1: Federalism, School Safety, and Congress
Grade Level: High school
Here is a lesson on federalism that a resource person could do in a class period by focusing closely on the analysis and discussion of the case itself (steps 4-10), or be done by a teacher in two or three class periods with a fuller discussion of federalism issues.
In 1990, Congress passed a law that required schools to take certain steps to reduce violence. Federal funding was made available for schools to implement certain programs. Part of this law made it a federal offense to bring a weapon on or within 1,000 feet of school grounds. A case (see below) before the U.S. Supreme Court challenged the constitutionality of this law. A lower federal court agreed that the law was unconstitutional, not because it violated the Second Amendment or the Tenth Amendment, but because Congress exceeded its power under the Constitution's commerce clause.
In United States v. Alfonso Lopez, the Supreme Court was asked to decide an issue of federalism. Basically the Court was asked to decide whether the federal government or the state and local governments should regulate guns on school grounds. If the Court found that Congress (the federal government) did not have the power under the commerce clause to enact the statute regulating guns, it would be the first time in more than 50 years that the Court declared unconstitutional a congressional law as being
outside the powers granted by the commerce clause.
The constitutional history of the relationship of the federal government to the states for the last 50 years has been one which has seen an increase of powers given to the national government and a decrease in the protection afforded the states under the Tenth Amendment. The Lopez case may prove to be an important addition to the history of federalism.
As a result of this lesson, students will:
- Learn of federalism and Congress's power under the commerce clause
- Learn about the Supreme Court process
- Analyze Supreme Court opinions and develop a position on an opinion
- Develop student awareness of school-safety issues
Time Needed: 2-3 class periods for full discussion, 1 period for discussion of the case.
Materials Needed: Student Handout 1 (.pdf) and Student Handout 2 (.pdf)
- Have students look for news articles that discuss sharing of (or transfers of) power between the federal government and the states; increases in violence; and gun control. Crime and gun-control issues are in the news quite often. You may easily focus this lesson on the Supreme Court's role or the growth of the federal government following Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s.
- Throughout the lesson, remember that vocabulary development is important. Make sure students understand any difficult words.
- Tell students that this case involves the question of federalism. Define federalism, and relate it to current developments in the news. Inform students that the Constitution authorizes the Congress to make laws only in areas granted to it. Some lawmaking authority was left to the states. This division of authority between the federal and state governments is a major aspect of federalism.
- Distribute the case (Handout 1) and two opinions (Handout 2) and read them together. Ask: What is the issue in this case? What must the Court decide? (The issue is whether Congress exceeded its commerce clause authority to regulate interstate commerce when it prohibited the possession of firearms near schools.) Have students decide whether they agree with Opinion A or Opinion B as well as
why they agree. Conduct a poll by a show of hands to determine which opinion students agree with.
- Divide the class into groups of five or six. Give each group an opinion to support. Each group should assign a recorder to write down the group's ideas and a spokesperson to report the arguments to the class. Have groups identify each argument in the opinion and rank the arguments from most to least important. Tell students they are free to add arguments supporting the opinion. If some students in the group do not agree with the opinion, ask them to think as lawyers would and to help defend the opinion.
- Tell students that they have seven minutes to list the arguments. Circulate, giving any needed instruction, or prompt discussion with questions.
- Begin class discussion by asking the spokesperson from a group supporting Opinion A to give its highest ranked argument. Next ask a spokesperson supporting Opinion B to respond to the argument given for Opinion A, and so on. As the arguments are being elicited, write them on the board under "Opinion A" or "Opinion B."
- Continue the discussion, ensuring that students from each group have a chance to contribute. When the arguments have been exhausted, congratulate students on their analysis and respond to their arguments.
- Explain that one of the opinions summarizes the Supreme Court's majority and concurring opinions. Ask students to identify which one this is.
- Tell students that the Supreme Court decided this case in 1995 and held that Congress had exceeded its authority under the commerce clause in attempting to regulate a local activity-education-without providing factual findings that detailed the connection between the proscribed activity and interstate commerce. The Court noted that the Act could not be upheld as a regulation of purely commercial or economic activity because it did not relate to the business or commercial aspects of gun sales. The Court, however, observed that the act could be upheld if the conduct Congress sought to regulate could be shown to be substantially related to interstate commerce. While acknowledging this test, the Court rejected the government's efforts to provide the necessary substantial relationship between the possession of a firearm on school grounds and interstate commerce. The Court was unconvinced by the U. S. government's argument that firearm possession on school grounds would create violent crimes that would cost the national economy in one of two ways, either of which could provide the constitutionally required substantial relationship to interstate commerce. Following Lopez, Congress will now have to make findings that commerce will be impacted by the legislation. A finding is a determination of a bill's intended effect, often found in its preamble or in the records of debate.
The Supreme Court did not base its decision on either the Second or Tenth Amendments.
This was written by Frank Kopecky, a professor of legal studies at the University of Illinois-Springfield and editor of the Illinois State Bar Association Law-Related Education Newsletter. It first appeared in Update on Law-Related Education, 19.3, © 1995 American Bar Association. The lesson plan can be found on the American Bar Association's Division for Public Education website at www.abanet.org/publiced/lawday/schools/lessons/hs_federalism.html.
Lesson Plan #2: How Much Do You Know About the Supreme Court?
Grade Level: 8-12
This exercise can be used as an introductory lesson on the Supreme Court. The ten true and false questions cover both pertinent information as well as information not normally covered in textbooks. The answer key is very important to the lesson as it will not only provide the answer but will also go into depth discussing the question further.
This lesson is any easy introduction to Article III of the Constitution and provides a simple explanation of the Judiciary Act of 1789.
Students will be introduced to the Supreme Court and understand the background of the Supreme Court and how it gained its position in the federal government. They will also gain an understanding of how the Supreme Court has changed since the Judiciary Act of 1789 and how its power has increased.
40 minutes (If you find and read pertinent passages from the Constitution) Otherwise 30 minutes.
1. Question sheet - "How much do you know about the Supreme Court?"
2. Answer key - "Answers- How much do you know about the Supreme Court?"
- Handout the question sheet -"How much do you know about the Supreme Court." Ask the students to answer the questions on their own. Tell the students not to worry about their grade since they will be grading their own work.
- Handout the answer key. Read aloud the answers asking the students to comment. Also ask students to read aloud answers. If students feel comfortable ask for a show of hands as to the number of correct answers for each question. If not collect and evaluate later. Check passages in the Constitution.
- Have the students grade their own papers and turn in.
Schwartz, Eleanor N. "Hard Traveling Justices." Constitution Vol. 2 No. 1 (Winter 1990)
Walter, Bill. "I'll take it to the Supreme Court" Junior Scholastic Vol. 92 No. 10 (January 26, 1990)
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT
True and False
1. The Articles of Confederation provided for a Supreme Court.
2. The first Judiciary Act passed on September 24, 1789 provided for a Chief Justice and 8 associate justices.
3. A justice is appointed for life and cannot be removed from office.
4. The first justices of the Supreme Court rode horseback in pairs visiting each state twice a year to assist in deciding cases.
5. The first Chief Justice was John Jay.
6. The Supreme Court must hear every case appealed from a lower court.
7. The Supreme Court only hears cases on appeal.
8. Today the United States is divided geographically into 50 circuit courts.
9. Decisions made by the Supreme Court can never be changed.
10. The Supreme Court plays an important role in shaping our country's politics, economics, morals and culture.
100 - 90 = A
89 - 80 = B
79 - 70 = C
69 - 60 = D
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT
The Articles which helped to hold together the United States from 1781 until the adoption of the Constitution in 1789 did not provide for a Supreme Court but did authorize Congress to appoint Courts of Appeals in cases of naval captains, and appeals from state courts. In some sense this court was a precursor to today's Supreme Court.
The first Judiciary Act passed on September 24, 1789 provided a chief justice and 5 associate justices. In 1801 the membership was increased by law to 7, in 1837 to 9 and in 1863 to 10. In 1866, as part of the effort by Congress to curb the appointing power of President Andrew Johnson, a statute reduced the membership to 7 as vacancies should occur, and actually the court declined to eight members. But in 1869 an increase to 9 was provided, at which size the court has remained.
A justice is appointed for life, however, tenure in office is during good behavior, subject to expulsion by conviction or impeachment as provided in Article II, section 4 of the Constitution. Justice Samuel Chase who became justice in 1796 was impeached and acquitted in 1805. He continued to serve until 1811. By an act of 1937, a member of the court who has served for 10 years or more may retire with full compensation upon reaching the age of 70.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 organized the Supreme Court and system of inferior courts into 3 circuit courts: the eastern, middle, and southern. Each circuit was composed of states. The justices rode the circuits and complained greatly of the inconvenience. Robert Hanson, chief judge of Maryland General Court turned down an appointment to the Supreme Court because of the circuit rides. Justice James Iredell traveled the Southern Circuit covering 7,000 miles on horseback, stagecoach, or buggy in order to complete the twice yearly circuit visits. During the first 10 years of the court the six seats were filled
by 12 different men.
Chief Justice Jay also suffered greatly as he rode the circuits. He suffered from painful arthritis to sore throats, and a facial cyst. He remained on the court until he was elected governor of New York in 1795. He is most known for the Jay Treaty of 1794 between the United States and Britain. This treaty attempted to correct the arising differences resulting from the Treaty of Paris of 1783 ending the Revolutionary War.
In 1988 the court received 5657 petitions, and heard 170 cases. Like most courts, the Supreme Court hears arguments from both sides. But there are no witnesses or jury. The nine justices make their decision by majority vote.
The court also has original jurisdiction in the following circumstances: controversies between states, between a state and the U.S. or between a state and citizens of another state, and cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls. In 1988 when Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos sought a delay in court proceedings their plea went to Justice Thurgood Marshall who presides over the 2nd circuit, made up of Connecticut, New York and Vermont. However, the majority of cases come to it from its appellate jurisdiction. To reach the Supreme Court a case must involve a principle of law or
constitutional issue of far-reaching importance.
The Circuit Courts of 1789 have evolved into the courts of appeals and the name "circuit court" is no longer used. However, the U.S. is still divided geographically into 12 judicial circuits, including the District of Columbia, and each is headed by one of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court. A 13th "federal" circuit, with a national jurisdiction was established in 1982. It succeeded the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the Court of Claims and is headed by the Chief Justice. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justices William Brennan and Byron White each preside over two
circuits. Find out what circuit you live in.
Decisions by the Supreme Court are final. They can be changed only by a subsequent Supreme Court decision or by an amendment to the constitution.
An example of this is the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the court ruled that segregated schools for black and white students are unconstitutional. The Supreme Courts interprets the constitution and guards it. in 1907 Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes said, "We are under the constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is."
This lesson plan is provided by The National Constitution Center's Warren E. Burger Repository of Lesson Plans, www.constitutioncenter.org and was written by Anna Strawn, Pearl City High School, Pearl City, Hawaii.
Peer Mediation and Youth Court Grants are available
The Kansas Bar Association, with funding from the Kansas Bar Foundation, is making available grant funds to be used by schools in developing peer mediation and youth court programs. The $500 grants can be used to produce seminars, hire consultants, and/or pay for supplies or other expenses associated with starting or continuing a program. Peer mediation programs are defined as programs which are developed to reduce in-school conflicts between students by using students to mediate the disputes. Youth courts are programs that use students in youth court settings to hear minor violations and to decide on appropriate disciplines.
Applications for grant funds should be in letter format and should include the following information:
- the statement of need,
- the goals of the project,
- the methods of accomplishing the goals, and
- a short budget as to how the funds will be used.
The deadline to submit grant applications is April 4, 2003. If you receive a grant, your school/organization will be required to forward any evaluation information resulting from the conflict resolution program to the KBA. This detailed information will help continue the funding of conflict resolution programs.
If you would like more information or wish to submit an application, contact Btissam Touijer at the Kansas Bar Association, (785) 234-5696, P.O. Box 1037, Topeka, KS 66601-1037 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Appellate Courts Welcome You
The Kansas Court of Appeals, an 11-member, intermediate appellate court sits in three-judge panels. The court is pleased to have students attend the hearings. The Court of Appeals will next be hearing cases in Topeka, Overland Park, and Wichita in April. The Topeka and Wichita hearings will be April 22 and 23. The court will sit at the Johnson County Community College on April 22.
The Kansas Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, and includes seven members. Students are also welcome at oral arguments before the Supreme Court. The high court holds its hearings only in Topeka. The Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments during the weeks beginning April 14, and May 27, 2003. If you have any questions concerning the Kansas appellate courts, or if you would like to bring your class to either the Kansas Supreme Court or the Kansas Court of Appeals, teachers may contact Ron Keefover, Education and Information Officer of the Office of Judicial Administration, 301 West 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66612-1507, (785) 296-4872, for assistance. You can also contact Mr. Keefover via email at
Law Wise is published by the Kansas Bar Association during the school year. The Kansas Bar Foundation, with Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts funding, provides support for this publication. Published free, on request, for teachers or anyone interested in law-related education, it is edited by Crystal Marietta, Pittsburg, (620) 231-5620. For further information about any projects or articles, contact Ron Keefover, Education and Information Officer of the Office of Judicial Administration, Topeka, (785) 296-4872, or Btissam Touijer, Public Services Director of the Kansas Bar Association, Topeka (785) 234-5696. Law Wise is printed at the Kansas Bar Association, 1200 Southwest Harrison, P.O. Box 1037, Topeka, Kansas 66601-1037.