REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - Brigham Young University- Idaho hosted the Idaho Supreme Court Wednesday. Justices gave students a first-hand look at how the appellate court system works in Idaho.
The hearings were held in the special events room of the Manwaring Center. Once the hearings were over, there was a Q&A for students with the Justices about the day.
"It's an opportunity for us to be transparent and let people see the good work the attorneys and the judges are doing to try to get these things figured out correctly," said Justice Greg Moeller.
The Idaho Supreme Court travels around the Gem State to fulfill an Idaho Constitutional Mandate. "That was started back when the original constitutional was adopted in 1890, and it was partly a reflection of the fact that it was hard for attorneys to travel back in the 1890s, and so the court would travel to them. But now it's more of an opportunity for us to just be present in different parts of the state," said Moeller.
He added that they travel mostly in the spring through the fall. "Typically in the spring, we will travel up to northern Idaho and hear cases at the law school in Moscow, and then we will hear cases in Lewiston. This year, in June, we came to Rexburg."
Moeller added that all the Justices were impressed by the turnout in Rexburg. "It was wonderful. And I don't know if you noticed, but the other Justices were very impressed. We have traveled throughout the state, and we typically have people quite a few people come and watch us. We have never had as big a crowd come to watch us. This came to watch our three cases today, even when we appear at the law school, we don't get that many law students there."
But it wasn't just the Justices who were impressed by the day's events.
"I am left with not only notes but actually with that good experience. And I haven't really been involved in, a lot of legal procedures or policy, but in the long run, I want to be a more active participant in it," said Sandra Ibarra, a student on campus who attended the event.
She relayed that while some things in the hearings were similar to what we see in court shows on television and in movies, there were also a lot of differences.
It's a description one of her fellow students agreed with. "There are definitely points that you see in movies and TV shows that are definitely, um, pushed aside from what an actual court cases especially such as one is Supreme Justice Court that pushes past the normal court systems that you see," said Jay Varner, another student on campus.
Varner added that he also had a lasting impression from the day. "I love that both the sides, the Appellant and Petitioner both of them came with, the information prepared. They're ready for any arguments, whether it was for or against them. And I enjoyed that. Even the Justices themselves were prepared for these with questions they had of their own."
In August, the Justices plan on visiting Twin Falls, Blackfoot and Pocatello.