A U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice is in Mississippi, to celebrate the state's bicentennial and share his legal expertise with law students. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Four students appeared before U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and six federal and state judges to present oral arguments in a Moot Court competition. Two students from the University of Mississippi and two from Mississippi College were peppered with questions. The fictional case was about corporate negligence and witness tampering. Meredith Pohl and James Kelly from the University of Mississippi won the contest. They talk about appearing before Chief Justice Roberts.
"Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time," said Pohl. "You just know how much experience he has and how much law he knows and so you're always thinking you know when you're about to answer a question am I going to have the case right? Am I going to have the facts right?" said Kelly.
All four students say Chief Justice Roberts offered them valuable advice. The competition is part of Mississippi's Bicentennial celebration hosted by the state's judiciary and legal profession. Last night more than 500 attended a banquet where Chief Justice Roberts talked about the history of the court and how justices traveled to hear cases.
"I welcome occasions like this that allow me to share a little history about my predecessors on the supreme court. But I am always conscious that since the earliest days of this country, the overwhelming portion of the legal and judicial business of our citizens has been handled in the courts of our states and therefore it is indeed a privilege to help celebrate the 200th year of such work here in Mississippi," said Roberts.
State Supreme Court Justice William Waller, in his keynote address, discussed the importance of the courts in the state and the contributions of key legal figures in promoting justice.