Mt. Ellis Students Go To Court

July 01, 2010 | Kevin Emmerson

As part of their ongoing efforts to inform the public of the role of the judicial arm of state government, the Supreme Court for Montana left their normal courtroom to hear oral arguments for a case in Bozeman, Mont. The junior and senior classes of Mount Ellis Academy attended the hearings. The arguments revolved around whether citizens should have an expectation of privacy while making calls on cell phones.

Matthew Cochenour, assistant state attorney general, argued the case for the state and brought extra interest to the case for MEA attendees because he is an alumnus of MEA from the class of 1990. The proceedings lasted for nearly two hours, with the justices interrupting both sides frequently for clarification on the finer points of the arguments.

At the conclusion of the arguments, students were impressed. While several expressed surprise at the generally relaxed nature of the proceedings, they also said watching the judicial branch at work was enlightening. Wade Wilson, a junior, says he was reminded that “there are lots of different viewpoints to any issue.” That’s a lesson he plans to remember for life.