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High School Students to visit Judicial Branch Building for Special Constitution Day Program

September 15, 2015

Des Moines, September 15, 2015— The Iowa Judicial Branch will join the Iowa Department of Education and The Iowa State Bar Association to present a Constitution Day program for Iowa high school students on Thursday, September 17. Students from Panorama High School, Des Moines Scavo High School, and Hampton-Dumont High School will attend the Iowa Supreme Court oral arguments that begin at 9:00 a.m. Ballard High School students will attend the afternoon oral arguments that begin at 1:00 p.m. Both sessions are in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building and open to the public.

"It's very important that Iowa students understand the significance of the Constitution and their duty to be informed United States citizens," Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. "One way we do this is through Constitution Day activities, including our student-centered partnership with the Iowa Judicial Branch. If we want our students to graduate prepared for success in college and the workforce, they must have the knowledge and skills to be active, engaged citizens."

For students unable to attend the oral arguments, the program includes an online orientation video that students in classrooms across the state will be encouraged to watch before live streaming the morning or afternoon oral arguments.

"The justices of the supreme court enjoy welcoming students to see the work of the judicial branch of their government first hand on Constitution Day," Chief Justice Cady said. "It is an excellent opportunity for high school students to learn about the importance of the Iowa and United States Constitutions. We should all take time during the day to reflect on the genius of the 39 delegates to the constitutional convention who signed the U.S. Constitution 228 years ago and the 55 Iowans who signed the Iowa Constitution 70 years later."

The nine-minute orientation video, entitled "We the People: The Iowa Constitution and Our Courts," begins with Chief Justice Mark Cady addressing the importance of the Iowa Constitution and how the courts use the document to resolve disputes between Iowans. Then, Justice Daryl Hecht explains how a person can appeal a case to the supreme court and what happens during oral arguments. The video is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at

Constitution Day recognizes the ratification of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. In 1911, the State of Iowa was the first state to celebrate Constitution Day. In 2004, legislation established the Federal observance of Constitution Day.

For More Information:

Steve Davis, Court Communications Officer, (515)725-8058 or

Iowa Supreme Court 
1111 East Court Avenue 
Des Moines, IA 50319 

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