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Supreme Court Class Travels to D.C. Over Weekend

Supreme Court Class Travels to D.C. Over Weekend

Supreme Court Class Travels to D.C. Over Weekend


Members of Honors Constitution and Supreme Court in Contemporary America with litigator Mr. Bob Long in D.C.

Staff Writer

April 27, 2023

Teo Everts '26

From April 15-18, students from the school’s Honors Constitution and Supreme Court in Contemporary America class traveled to Washington D.C., to tour iconic landmarks and visit the highest court in the land.

The class, taught by Dr. Thomas Fisher, instructor in history, philosophy, and religion, examines the Court’s role in protecting individual rights and defining structural features of the United States’ government. Students in the course do not use a textbook, but read and analyze court opinions, make decisions using the Court's frameworks, and write their own mock merit briefs and opinions on real-life pending cases. According to Dr. Fisher, “[The class enables students to] understand what’s going on in the Court by reading the briefs that are being filed, rather than having to rely on the news."

Dr. Fisher was accompanied on the trip by Ms. Sarah Smithey, instructor in chemistry and engineering, and nine students. The group visited historical sites including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol, the National Archives, Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Library of Congress.

The group waited for over five hours outside the Supreme Court Building for tickets to witness an oral argument, but only Ms. Smithey, Julia Cheston '23, and Isabella Wei '23 were able to obtain tickets to observe.

Students also met with Mr. Bob Long, litigator and husband of Eleanor Long ’77. Mr. Long has argued 18 cases before the Supreme Court. Students enjoyed dinner with the Long family, where they were able to talk to Mr. Long about his experiences arguing in front of the Court. Dr. Fisher said, “[The dinner demonstrated] how much [the students] had actually learned. [Our class allowed them] to hold an intelligent conversation with a Supreme Court litigator about cases he had worked on.”

Unfortunately, the trip was not without incident. When students traveled to famous D.C. restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl in the historic U Street Corridor, they witnessed an armed robbery in progress, prompting Dr. Fisher to direct students to board the bus for their safety. Ms. Smithey and Dr. Fisher provided assistance to the injured victim while they waited for the police to arrive and the bus driver shared footage captured on the dash cam with authorities.

On the final day of the trip, students observed a protest against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during his visit to the right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation.

Jacob Zweiback ’ 24 said, “[The experience was] overall quite enjoyable. [We] visited sights that we had never seen before, and we all cracked jokes along the way."

Teo Everts is a staff writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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