On March 11-12, the nine justices of the Washington State Supreme Court will travel to Centralia College to hold a community forum and hear oral arguments on three cases. The events and arguments are open to the public.
The state’s highest court is located in Olympia in the Temple of Justice on the state capitol grounds. Since 1985, the Court has heard cases “on the road” several times a year, allowing citizens to see the court in action in their local communities.
“The Supreme Court’s Travelling Court program is a chance for the justices to bring the court to the people. We appreciate the invitation from Centralia College to visit its campus,” said Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst. “In addition to students, we encourage anyone interested in learning more about the judicial branch of government to see the workings of the highest court up close and personal.”
On March 11, there will be an open community forum at 2 p.m. in Corbet Theatre (inside Washington Hall). During the forum, justices will provide an overview of the Washington State Supreme Court, including the philosophy of the American justice system, the relationship of the State Supreme Court to other Washington courts and the federal court system, and touch on topics of interest, including whether justices should be elected or appointed.
On March 12, beginning at 9 a.m.in the Corbet Theatre, Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst and Justices Charles W. Johnson, Barbara A. Madsen, Susan Owens, Debra Stephens, Charles Wiggins, Steven González, Sheryl Gordon McLoud,and Mary Yu will hear the following arguments:
9 a.m: Case # 1 State of Washington v. Michael Clifford Boisselle:Did a warrantless search of Boisselle’s home fall under the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement?
10:15 a.m.: Case # 2 State of Washington v. B.O.J.: Did the trial court err by sentencing a juvenile to a longer-than standard range sentence for two counts of shoplifting?
1:30 p.m.: Case # 3 State of Washington v. Marc Daniel McKee: Instead of dismissing the charges, should the Court of Appeals have remanded this case for a possible retrial?
Immediately following arguments in the two cases, the justices will answer questions from the audience, then recess to conference on the cases. They will also answer questions after the last case of the day.
All Washington Supreme Court oral arguments are open to the public and are broadcasted at a later date via Washington’s Public Affairs network, TVW.
Though cameras and video recorders are generally allowed, the Court asks that no flash, other lights or noisy film advance mechanisms be used during the hearings. TV stations are asked to pool coverage.
Written opinions are rendered approximately three to six months after oral arguments. For further information regarding the Court, visit the Washington Courts web site at http://www.courts.wa.gov.