Four Arizona high school students met with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor after winning first place in the American Bar Association’s national high school competition for their video about the Magna Carta.
The four students – Allison Gooch (sophomore), Jacob Staudenmaier (freshman) and Dallas Greene (freshman), all of Arcadia High School, and Joshua Babu (freshman), Notre Dame High School – met with Justice Sotomayor during the trip they earned to Washington, D.C. for their video titled “Magna Carta: What’s So Great About The ‘Great Charter?’ ”
The Magna Carta celebrates its 800th anniversary this year, and is regarded as the cornerstone for modern day principles of democracy and rule of law. The Magna Carta was sealed by King John in June 1215 in Runnymede, England.
Justice Sotomayor watched the award-winning video with the students and spent time discussing the video with them. The Justice was also involved in presenting the National Award to the students along with American Bar Association President William Hubbard.
That evening, the students were recognized again for their accomplishments at the ABA Day Justice Awards Reception and Dinner at the National Archives, during which their video was shown during the reception.
In addition to meeting with Justice Sotomayor, the students met with United States Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake during their Washington, D.C. trip.
The contest judging criteria was based on (1) film formatting; (2) technical production; (3) understanding of content and how well the video demonstrated a comprehension of the various historical and contemporary issues associated with “what’s so great about the Great Charter”; (4) supporting evidence from a factual standpoint; and (5) affective impact of the film on Magna Carta scholarship.
Among the many facets of the video, the students expanded upon President Dwight Eisenhower’s quote: “The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.”
The competition was jointly sponsored by the ABA and its Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division, the Center for Teaching the Rule of Law, and the National Center for State Courts, and co-sponsored by the ABA’s Young Lawyer’s Division, Law Student Division, and Division for Public Education.