Judges participate in mock congressional hearings at Berkshire Middle School

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 Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren participated in congressional hearings on January 14 at Berkshire Middle School in Birmingham with retired Oakland County Circuit Court Judges Edward Sosnick and Fred Mester, and Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Gleicher. 

 
Under the direction of Lori-Kamleh Ajlouny, 8th grade social studies teacher at Berkshire, students participated in mock congressional hearings arguing current undecided U.S. Supreme Court cases before the distinguished panel of judges as well as Birmingham Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Nerad and Geri Rinschler of the Birmingham Board of Education. 
 
Students made opening statements and were questioned by the panel testing the students’ understanding and knowledge of the cases.  They worked in groups to analyze real cases currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court brought by persons claiming their Constitutional rights were violated. Issues debated included the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against self-incrimination, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion.
 
The purpose of the exercise was to make students better aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Constitution.
 
“This was a wonderful activity to renew the spirit of America,” Warren commented after the event.   “Having young people think critically about constitutional issues prepares them for a life of citizenship and it is vital to the survival of our republic that our students are well versed in our founding history and Constitution.  Ms. Ajlouny and the Birmingham Public Schools are superb role models for educators across the nation.”
 
Warren is the co-founder of Patriot Week with his then 10-year-old daughter Leah (www.PatriotWeek.org), a board member of Cornerstone Schools Association, and a former member of the State Board of Education.

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