9th Circuit comes to Tucson

Published: Jan. 30, 2015 at 12:02 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2015 at 12:13 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Three members of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals came to Tucson to hear three cases as part of a series presented by the Rogers Law School at the University of Arizona.

US Supreme Court judges have oftentimes come to the school to talk to students, including Chief Justice William Renquist, Justice Sandra Day O'Conner and Justices Scalia and Kennedy as well.

It's an opportunity for students to see how the judges handle cases and what the future attorney's might expect in court.

The court heard three cases, each getting a half hour of oral arguments, two of which had Arizona ties and one from Nevada.

The one which seemed to get the most attention is very political in nature.

The Libertarian Party v. The State of Arizona.

State lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 which changed the paper forms used to register to vote.

For the first time, people who register to vote can check a box which offers Democrat, Republican or fill in a space for "other".

In the past, the form had a space only, no boxes.

The Libertarian Party feels that's unfair and imposes a burden on the smaller parties.

However in court, the Libertarian Party Attorney David Hardy admitted it's not an undue burden.

But he feels it's a burden in the strictest sense.

The State of Arizona says it's okay to promote the two major parties and does not impose a burden.

The three judges heard arguments, asked questions and will rule later.

For about 100 students who sat in the lobby of the law school to listen and watch on closed circuit, it's an opportunity to see what the future might hold.

"I would never be able to go to San Francisco," says first year law student Chris Womack. "Money is really tight when you're a law student."

"It was very interesting to watch," says another first year student Rachael Sedgwick. "It was very nuanced."

How the lawyers conducted themselves, the questions from the judges all add to a students education.

"The lay person might think the issue here is voting practices and whose discriminated against," says Sedgwick. "Whereas when you get in court you find they are much more focused on details that are much more significant."

Copyright 2015 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.