1,000+ Ottawa County students attend state Supreme Court hearing

Posted at 6:41 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 20:42:02-04

LANSING, Mich. -- More than 1,000 middle school students got a first-hand look at Michigan's legal system Wednesday during a hearing at the state Supreme Court.

Students from all over Ottawa County packed the Jenison Center for the Arts for the real-life civics lesson. It's through Court Community Connections, a public education program through the Michigan Supreme Court established in 2007.

The case they were observing is Peter Deacon vs. Pandora.  Deacon, who is from Michigan, accuses the popular music streaming company of violating his privacy and sharing personal information.

The court has to decide if Pandora, based in California, is in the business of lending music and if they violated Michigan law.

Sara Asselin, an eighth grader at Corpous Christi Catholic School in Holland, attended the hearing Wednesday.

"It just helps you get a better idea of how the court system works and to know that when you're in the court cases, you need to know what you need to say," she said.

Justices Richard Bernstein says it's just as much a great opportunity for them as it is the students.

"We at the Supreme Court love doing this because really, what it's about is as good judges, you wanna have a connection," Bernstein said.  "You want to have a relationship and the opportunity to spend time with young people; to get them excited, to get them inspired about the legal process and to bring the court to the school is a really key component of our job."

Justice David Viviano says once the court makes a decision, that decision will then go back to the appeals court in California for further consideration.