McClatchy government students meet U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy
Kennedy graduated from CKM in 1954

e-Connections Post C.K. McClatchy
A meeting of the minds: CKM's HISP Coordinator Ellen Wong chats with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy while students look on.Photo courtesy the Sacramento Bee

Editor’s note: The following article was written by Nia Brown and Tim Loo, reporters for The Prospector, C.K. McClatchy High School’s newspaper. Brown and Loo were among dozens of CKM seniors who met U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on his recent trip to Sacramento. 

Seniors enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Government at C.K.McClatchy High School were given the chance to meet Anthony Kennedy, an honorable U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Being a McClatchy alumni himself, graduating in the class of 1954, Kennedy returned to Sacramento for the opening of a learning center in his name.

At the Robert Matsui Federal Courthouse in downtown Sacramento, we students, no longer bound by academia’s walls, held our very own mock trial.

Experiencing firsthand the essence of serving on a jury, we took part in the trial of Luke vs. Vader, in which a college freshman was indicted for the possible illegal downloading of multiple songs and movies.

Four out of the five jury groups found the defendant not guilty. The fifth was split, 8-3, not guilty to guilty, with some jurors expressing concerns that proof was not offered that the downloads were illegal.

After discussions and some tasteful arguing, and after U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England (also a CKM alum) announced the verdicts, one of the nine most powerful people in the world walked into a courthouse full of high school students.

With a personable air about him, one of the first things he brought up was the idea that we, for lack of better words, regular people, know more about some things than judges.

He then engaged us with questions. Upon being posed questions by a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, one tends to worry about what to actually say. Does he want my long answer? Is there one? Was that rhetorical?

These qualms are easily scrapped when you take a page, or rather bookmark, from a Supreme Court justice. One must think of questions not in terms of their answers but in the premise that asking good ones and considering all their aspects can be the most valuable currency to be had.