LANCASTER, Wis. -- Wisconsin Supreme Court justices presided over a packed Grant County courtroom today as part of the Justice on Wheels public outreach program.
Typically based in Madison, the court traveled to the Grant County Courthouse in Lancaster as part of an effort to introduce Wisconsinites to the state government’s third branch. The Grant County stop marks the court’s 26th county since 1993.
It was the first time that Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack presided in that role outside of Madison.
“It’s very important to us that the people have confidence in the courts,” Roggensack said. “We think it helps people to get to know who we are and what we do a little better.”
Several high school classes and home-schooled students from the area attended the first of three hearings in Lancaster. Also in attendance was a class of female prosecutors from Pakistan as part of a U.S. Department of Justice exchange program, as well as students from University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is hear three cases in Grant County today to provide residents an opportunity to see justices at work.
The Justice on Wheels program brought the Supreme Court to the Grant County Courthouse in Lancaster. The program, which began in 1993, offers residents in different areas of the state a chance to see court proceedings and enables the Supreme Court to do outreach, according to Court Information Officer Tom Sheehan.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the state of Wisconsin. The program has brought court proceedings to 25 other locations, according to Sheehan.
Grant County was chosen because it is not too far from Madison, Wis., where justices usually hear cases. Grant County also was chosen because Justice on Wheels has not visited there before, Sheehan said.
Supreme Court justices will hear three cases. One involves a sexual assault, one is about insurance and another will cover the interpretation of a prior court decision.