Supreme Court visit a huge success

Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 16, 2016

Last week, Albert Lea had the privilege of hosting the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Traveling Oral Argument Program. This unique opportunity could not have been more successful and would not have been so without the incredible effort of many community members. In particular, Principal Mark Grossklaus and the staff and students at Albert Lea High School truly rose to the occasion.

There were others involved in making this successful and, at the risk of leaving someone out, I want to thank the Vogts and Tina Stripe and crew for making the community dinner such an enjoyable event at Wedgewood Cove. It was great to see the justices interacting with the community on such a personal level.

The actual event at Albert Lea High School was, in my opinion, flawless. Student escorts were provided to all the justices and others were available to direct attendees. The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office provided exceptional security.

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The students, prepared in advance to understand the case by a team of local attorneys led by Stephanie Haedt, showed great respect for the parties trying the case and the court by maintaining silence during the arguments. They also asked excellent questions when presented with the opportunity following the hearing.

There are many individuals involved including our district Judges Steven Schwab and Ross Luening, Court Administration lead by Kristine Maiers, and Catherine Buboltz and KIMT for their efforts to live stream the event.

My greatest praise, however, goes to the staff and students at Albert Lea High School. Principal Grossklaus, Jim Haney, Diane Heaney, Brittany Voigt and Officer Ted Herman all immediately grasped the significance of the opportunity and worked tirelessly to make it the best possible experience for the students.

Lastly, of course, my thanks to the Minnesota Supreme Court and Chief Justice Lorie Gildea for bringing this experience to our community. It will not soon be forgotten.

Randy Kehr

executive director

Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce