Judiciary includes visiting students to observe Constitution DayPosted on Sep 20, 2017 in Featured News
Elementary school students visiting the Judiciary History Center last week were welcomed by Intermediate Court of Appeals Associate Judge Lisa Ginoza and Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, who expanded their civics education experience as part of Constitution Day, the annual celebration of the rights and liberties afforded to all Americans by the United States Constitution.
In 2004, Congress officially designated September 17 as Constitution Day. This year, Constitution Day was observed nationally on Monday, September 18th.
Judge Ginoza discussed the role of judges and the courts in protecting the legal rights of all citizens. “Constitution Day highlights the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, and celebrates the fundamental rights and freedoms it provides for American citizens,” Judge Ginoza told students. “This year marks the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution which, along with amendments adopted over time, provides many of the rights that are the cornerstones of our democracy, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to vote, and the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. We should also celebrate the Hawaii State Constitution, which offers even greater protections in certain areas such as the right to privacy and protection of the environment.”
Some of the visiting students engaged in a hands-on learning experience of the Hawaii State court system by running a mock trial in the Judiciary History Center’s Restored 1913 Courtroom. Students re-enacted a hearing from the Oni v. Meek trial, learning how decisions of the courts shaped and responded to rapid changes taking place in the 19th century Kingdom of Hawaii. Students played the roles of the judge, bailiff, court clerk, attorneys, and others involved in the case.
“It is vitally important that our young people understand the structure and function of our system of government, so that they can participate in our society as informed, empowered citizens,” said Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. “The courts play a vital role in our democracy by ensuring fairness in our system of justice, and protecting the fundamental legal rights of our citizens.”
The Judiciary History Center offers schools, colleges, and the general public a number of law-related educational activities and resources. It has provided hundreds of students the opportunity to become more informed, involved, and effective citizens. The Center’s website also offers prepared lessons for use in classroom and in the Restored 1913 Courtroom. Please visit their website at jhchawaii.net for more information.