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Local Federal Courts’ Judicial Learning Center Helps Launch Nation’s First In-Depth Student Supreme Court Case Study

The Judicial Learning Center recently held an opening reception for its first-ever “The Supreme Court and My Hometown” exhibit. The exhibit was the culmination of a semester-long intensive study by a group of local high school students who studied the process and substantive issues of a local notable Supreme Court case. The case chosen for this year’s inaugural group of students was Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, which involved thorny First Amendment issues surrounding public school student newspaper content. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, the local Federal Bar Association, and the Judicial Learning Center co-sponsored this innovative educational program.

HeplerBroom partner Glenn Davis, who is president of the Judicial Learning Center’s Board of Directors, noted that with guidance from Rachel Marshall, the local federal courts’ Director of Civics Education, and her counterpart with the Supreme Court Historical Society, the students created amazing illustrations and narratives that are now on display in the Judicial Learning Center.

The Judicial Learning Center is an independent non-profit corporation founded by leaders of the St. Louis legal community. Its mission is to promote public understanding of the function and value of the judicial branch of government and the importance of the rule of law. It was the first educational center in the country devoted to the judicial process in the federal courts and has steadily become a national model. The Center, which is located on the first floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis, maintains an interactive learning space and supports a wide variety of educational programs for K-12 students and teachers. More information about its programs is available on its website.

The “Hometowns” program is a nationwide initiative that started in St. Louis in fall 2023.

group of students standing behind an official seal embedded in a floor

Student participants in the Judicial Learning Center’s inaugural class of “The Supreme Court and My Hometown.”

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