In the week prior to Thanksgiving break, CCS eighth graders experienced firsthand how the Supreme Court of the United States functions as part of their study of American history. After learning how cases are selected, presented in court and then decided, students were given a real court case from Massachusetts in 2006, in which a restaurant sued a mall for violating a portion of its business contract. Students chose to be either an attorney for the petitioner or respondent, or they could choose to be a justice. Not knowing how the actual case was decided, the students spent two days preparing for oral arguments, studying the business contract in question, as well as looking at other cases that addressed similar scenarios.
On the day of the trial, certain students acting as attorneys presented their arguments to the students acting as justices, first for the mall, then for the restaurant. These attorneys also had to answer tough questions prepared by the justices. After rebuttals, the justices retired to speak to each other, make a decision and prepare the “opinion of the court.”
The eighth grade thoroughly enjoyed this activity and came out with a deeper understanding of how our court system works and how it affects Americans today. Some may have even walked away with the desire to be the next generation’s successful attorney or Chief Justice of the United States! How exciting to think of a CCS alumnus serving the Lord in such a way!