The Cornhusker Boys’ State Supreme Court was in session in the Nebraska State Supreme Courtroom at the State Capitol. In order to become a member of the judiciary, a CBS citizen must generally be appointed by the sitting Boys’ State Governor.
Citizens seeking a judicial appointment to either the Supreme Court or one of the two District Courts must appear before a nominating committee, typically comprised of each pair of candidates (Nationalist and Federalist) for high political office who survive the primary election. The nominating committee forwards it recommendations to the Governor for final appointment. Once appointed, members of the judiciary are formally sworn-in by a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court. In addition, the Cornhusker Boys’ State Supreme Court traditionally participates in a mock case within the dignified courtroom of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The second session of the Legislature involved many heated debates in order to priorities the most pressing issues by each committee. Committee Chairmen were elected to head each of the five committees and the Committee Secretary was in charge of reading aloud each bill on the table and amending any necessary changes to the bill if the committee chose to do so. Each committee had the responsibility of prioritizing their top three bills to move on to General File, where debate will take place regarding all of the priority bills.
Senator Nick Koehler is deep in discussion with his Committee regarding a bill to enhance the state education platform.
The second session ended by moving in to General File and debating our first two bills. Our Legislative session has the privilege of having 2016 Boys Nation Vice President, Choteau Kammel, to assist in showing our current Boys Staters the proper way each bill will be debated. There were some very heated debates and opinions expressed in our first two, but ultimately both of those bills were turned down, and for the time being, tabled indefinitely.
Senator Peter Owens debates the Internet Sales Tax bill in which he authored.
Our Senators are very excited to spend an entire afternoon debating the rest of the priority bills in General File at this time!
Senators in the Cornhusker Boys’ State Unicameral are working hard to craft and debate legislation .
After a morning session including an explanation of the opportunities in a legal career, the judicial candidates finally got down to brass tacks, or in this case, white powder. The group was divided into four sections, and each was given a primary briefing of the case on which they would participate. The basic facts of the crime presented were that three criminals conspired in an attempt to sell a kilogram of cocaine. After being arrested, they faced time in prison ranging from six to thirty years depending on their previous crimes, misdemeanors, and felonies. The mock defense attorneys’ job was to negotiate a plea deal that would result in the least amount of jail time as possible. The prosecuting attorneys’ job, however, was the exact opposite; their goal was to get the most amount of jail time for the criminals as possible. After a description of the goals, one mock attorney from each of the four groups joined into a trail group to negotiate sentences. The final sentences ranged from no time served to thirty years in prison, a true representation of the actual ranges of real-life crimes.
By: Peter Owens
The Government of Cornhusker Boys State is poised to begin active service after a year of recess. Returning from the previous session is Governor Ruben Aguilar, a graduate of Lincoln North Star High School. Joining him will be the newest delegation of the Cornhusker Boys State Legislature, who will soon begin to campaign in each of their individual towns. Together, they will debate, pass, and ultimately sign a plethora of new legislation into the law books of this great state.
Many groups from all across the state will be looking to pass legislation on a number of issues. These issues range from the death penalty to the legalization of marijuana, to the manner in which Boys Staters are tucked into bed each night.
The Death Penalty is poised to be a object of large contention at this years Boys State. After a November ballot measure overturned the previous ban of the practice legislators on both sides of the issue will seek to address this issue. The argument in many cases boils down to public safety for many supporters of the action. They argue that the death penalty is needed to punish the most heinous of crimes, as well as provide further punishment while in prison to protect the safety of prison guards, especially after the prison riots that have taken place in the Nebraska prison system. Detractors argue that the death penalty does not actually work to stop people from committing these crimes, and that life in prison is an adequate sentence in almost every case. Another key issue is the scarcity of the lethal injection drugs needed to execute a sentence.
The legalization of marijuana is a debate that has begun in almost every state across the country. States like Colorado and Washington, among others have legalized recreational marijuana while even more have legalized just medical marijuana. The argument for this proposition rest mainly on the personal liberties of the citizens of the state. They argue that the state should not put people in prison for using a drug that does little to actively hurt anyone else, especially when drugs like alcohol are widely abused and legal. They opposition show the negative affects that marijuana has on the brain, especially in those still developing. The societal affects, they argue, far outweigh the threat to liberty argued by the supporters.
Lastly, the legislature looks set to debate the “nighty-night” bill once again. This landmark piece of legislation will shape the way that the Boys Staters interact with their counselors for the entire week. The act of tucking each Boys Stater into bed will create a lasting sense of community and ensure that not Boys Staters are engaged in any kind of illicit nocturnal activities. The opposition to this legislation again rests in the debate of personal liberties, as some argue it is a breach of privacy.
In the end, the Cornhusker Boys State government will elect legislators to debate these key issues. The democratic process that is at the bedrock of our nation will work to solve the issues between the citizens of our state and the legislature will vote to pass meaningful legislation.