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Connecticut’s highest court hits the road to show students how the judicial system works

court room
Patrick Feller

The Connecticut Supreme Court is on the road Wednesday hearing two real-life cases at Eastern Connecticut State University.

It’s part of the On Circuit program that was started in 1986 to provide students, educators and residents a better understanding of the appellate process. The court program was paused for two years during the pandemic.

Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, a spokesperson for the state judicial branch, said it shows people how the justice system works more than what they see on television.

“There’s students who watched those arguments and thought that law might be something they want to pursue,” Stearley-Hebert said. “Or it solidifies their goal to become an attorney and perhaps a judge or a justice someday.”

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The two cases are about police entering an apartment without a warrant, and the processing of freedom of information requests.

Attendees will be able to have a question-and-answer session with the lawyers representing both sides of the aisle before the judges make their final decisions.

“The courts go out. The justices go out to educate our future leaders, our future attorneys, our future litigants, our future jurors, that sort of thing, about what the appellate process entails and why it’s important,” Stearley-Herbert said.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.