Daily Briefs, September 19

Michigan Supreme Court announces Constitution Week
Educators looking for ways to observe Constitution Day with their students can turn to the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center for help.

Federal law requires that all schools that receive public funding must teach about the U.S. Constitution on or near Sept. 17, the date the Constitution was signed in 1787.

Resources provided by the Learning Center include an online video discussion by Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy v Ferguson decision, which established the “separate but equal” doctrine, providing legal support for decades of racial segregation. Plessy was overturned in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v Board of Education.

The catalyst for Plessy was an attempt by Homer Adolph Plessy, a 30-year-old shoemaker who was seven-eighths white and one-eighth black, to sit in a whites-only train car after buying a first-class ticket on a Louisiana railroad. He was prosecuted under Louisiana’s Separate Car Act, which provided that “all railway companies carrying passengers in their coaches in this state, shall provide equal but separate accommodations for the white, and colored races …” The penalty for sitting in the wrong compartment was a $25 fine or 20 days in jail. Plessy challenged the Separate Car Act under the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, but a majority of the Supreme Court upheld the law.

In the video, Chief Justice Young analyzes Plessy and how the majority’s decision violated constitutional principles. The video, which was produced in cooperation with Michigan Government Television, can be seen at www.mgtv.org/video/interviews/.

The Michigan Supreme Court has declared Sept. 16-22 to be U.S. Constitution Week in Michigan.

The Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center will also mark Constitution Day with visits from elementary and high school students on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Fourth-grade students from Ojibwa Elementary School in Macomb Township will re-enact the signing of the Constitution, based on the famous 1940 painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

The Learning Center offers many free educational materials for educators and students, including an e-newsletter, Justitia. For more information, visit http://courts.michigan.gov/plc/.

3rd Circuit Court Juv. Division 2011 Attorney Training Program
The Third Circuit Court Juvenile Division will conduct its 2011 Attorney Training Program on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Byblos Banquet Center at 7258 Chase Road in Dearborn.

Registration is required.  Registration forms may be obtained from the Juvenile Division, Assigned Counsel Services Office, Lincoln Hall of Justice, 1025 East Forest Avenue, Room 104, Building B; between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 through Friday, Sept. 23.  
The cost for the program is $75. 

Completion of the Attorney Training Program is mandatory to become eligible to receive assignments from the Third Circuit Court Juvenile Division. 

Please note, attorney payment vouchers for Juvenile Division assignments will not be honored by Wayne County if an attorney is not eligible to receive them due to failure to attend the program.

For additional information, please call (313) 833-4777 or go to the Court’s website at www.3rdcc.org.