This year the West Virginia Supreme Court returns to the campus of Marshall University to hear cases as part of Marshall’s celebration of Constitution Week.
In 2004, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia sponsored legislation designating September 17th of each year as Constitution Day. The goal of Constitution Day is to promote a better understanding of our government’s founding document. Each year public schools throughout the country, including Marshall University, host a series of Constitution-themed events. This year Marshall will be sponsoring lectures, games, and an essay contest focusing on the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata.
In conjunction with Marshall’s other Constitution Week activities, the Supreme Court will sit in Huntington on September 16th and hear oral argument in four cases. These cases raise a wide variety of legal issues. In the first case, the Court must decide whether municipalities in West Virginia have the power to order a dog to be destroyed. The second case challenges the constitutionality of the procedure used to determine a criminal defendant’s competency to stand trial. The Court will also consider the impact of alleged picket line violence on an employee’s right to recover unemployment compensation. In the final case, a prison inmate was charged with murdering a fellow inmate. In his appeal, he alleges that the trial court erred by requiring his witnesses, all of whom were convicted felons, to testify by video conference instead of appearing in open court.
The Supreme Court has been a longtime advocate of community involvement. By coming to Marshall’s campus, the Court provides a rare and valuable opportunity for students of all ages to see West Virginia’s court system with their own eyes. For those who may be interested in watching the arguments on September 16th remotely, the Court will broadcast its proceedings via webcast. Just go to http://www.courtswv.gov and follow the prompts.