Alaska Supreme Court comes to Kenai

The Alaska Supreme Court has the final say in the case of Alaska Democratic Party versus the state of Alaska, but high school students from across the Kenai Peninsula have some thoughts of their own.


Riley Graves of Kenai Central High School is thinking that the state is going to win this one, while his classmate Wagnoi Ning is leaning more towards the Democratic Party. Brenden Boehme from Nikiski High School isn’t so sure.

“I think that both sides have some pretty strong points,” Boehme said during Thursday’s Supreme Court Live event held at Kenai Central High School auditorium. “I seems like the Democratic Party has a lead. There points were stronger and it looked like everything the state of Alaska said didn’t have enough of a rebuttal to what the Democratic party said.”

The Supreme Court Live event brought Alaska’s justices to the KCHS auditorium, the program’s first visit to the Kenai Peninsula in its nearly decade long history. On Thursday, the students were privy to both attorneys’ oral arguments for the case.

“I thought it was really interesting to hear the different arguments that each lawyer used, because we learn all about persuasive writing and speaking but seeing how it’s actually performed in real life is really interesting and entertaining,” said KCHS student Abigail Moffett.

Following the arguments, both the attorneys and justices took questions from students.

“One of the things that I personally hope for out of exercises like this is that some of you will start thinking about what am I going to do with my life,” Chief Justice Craig Stowers told the students. “There are almost no limits if you have the basic intelligence and ability to work hard and dedicate yourself to some course of study.”

Just like the attorneys and justices, the students went into the event prepared. Local attorneys volunteered their time to go through the nuances of the case and the court system.

“It’s always phenomenal for us to be able to have our local community people come in and share their expertise with out kids,” said Kenai Central High School Principal Alan Fields. “In particular with a career that a lot of kids are interested in.”

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