By: Logan Becher
Citizens of Cornhusker Boys’ State tried their hand at presenting actual court cases being debated on in the Supreme Court during a session on Thursday. In this session, Staters were split into groups to decide which case they would be presenting and who they were to represent. Once these groups were determined, the towns were also split by County, each presenting the same cases to different judges. The cases selected were Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado, Carpenter v. United States, Collins v. Virginia, and Byrd v. United States.
To begin the session, representatives for the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado presented their cases. This case came to court after the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to bake a personalized cake for a same-sex couple. For Costello County, the judges determined Masterpiece Cakeshop the winner of the case 3-0. Rohan County judges determined Masterpiece Cakeshop the winner by a vote of 2-0.
In the case of Carpenter v. United States, police had reason to believe that Carpenter was involved in criminal action. Police authorities pulled information from his cell provider and then used the information to track his phone location for 127 days, resulting in his arrest. Costello County voted United States the winner 3-0, and Rohan County found United States as the winner with a vote of 2-0.
Collins v. Virginia was a case that came to the Supreme Court when a police officers found a motorcycle violating traffic laws on two occasions. Later finding a similar looking vehicle, a police officer arrested the driver without a warrant, violating the 4th Amendment. Costello County found Collins the winner by a vote of 2-1. Rohan County could not decide a winner, having a vote of 1-1.
The final case of Byrd v. United States was brought to the Supreme Court when Byrd was pulled over, while using a rental car under another name, for violating traffic laws. When stopped, police asked to search the car and found heroin and body armor. Costello County judges decided the United States won this case 3-0. Rohan County decided that Byrd won the case 2-0.
By: David O’Connell
The main purpose of Boys’ State is for young men to learn about how the government works in the state of Nebraska. This idea finally started to appear early on the first morning in the weekly schedule when guest speaker Kate Bolz, representing the 29th district in the State Legislator, talked to a smaller division of boys elected to the State Legislator for the Boys’ State program.
Her presentation consisted of how she first began her career in government and how the unique system of a Unicameral Legislator in Nebraska works.
When Bolz first started to run as the District Legislator, she undertook lots of door knocking to reach out to voters, but because Nebraska has a Unicameral Legislature, she did not feel obliged to mention her political party when campaigning.
“I felt compelled that my talents would serve the citizens,” Bolz said.
Bolz had past experience in organizations involved with Down Syndrome and children’s Medicare funding and used her experience to entice voters.
Moreover, Bolz declared that she is a registered Democrat, but said that it did not matter in the capitol because it is a non-partisan legislator and that there is no majority or minority leader. In addition, she stated that there is no caucus for legislators running.
She further explained that the people of Nebraska act as the second house to the Unicameral Legislator by having citizens voice their concerns to senators. Because in a bicameral legislator, both houses have to approve a bill in order for it to be passed, and in Nebraska’s case, the people can voice their approval to a bill.
Cornhusker Boys State is randomly divided into two political parties, Nationalists and Federalists. The two parties start with a blank platform. Party members work to adopt “planks” of the platform at their conventions. Following the party conventions, candidates for various state offices offered remarks and answered questions from thier fellow citizens. The primary election, for everything except Governor, will be held on Tuesday June 5th.
Sen. Kate Bolz visited Cornhusker Boys State on Monday. Sen. Bolz discussed the unicameral legislature and how it works. In addition, she discussed some current issues facing the legislature and took several questions from the delegates. Sen. Bolz is from Lincoln and represents the 29th district.
The Cornhusker Boys State Unicameral Legislature is back in session. Forty nine delegates were elected to serve as senators. Senators will debate legislation throughout the week and have an opportunity to conduct business in the historic Warner Chambers at the Nebraska State Capitol.
One of the first tasks of the Legislature is to elect a speaker.