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: Logan Thomas
Everyone knows that there has been an extremely intense race for the chance to become the 2018 Boys’ State governor. This race picked up significantly on Thursday when all of the candidates for each party gathered and tried to win the vote of their fellow party members. Each candidate was given the opportunity to deliver an opening statement for one minute. Following this, the candidates moved from town to town for a three minute Q and A session. After this, the candidates were allowed to ask one other candidate a question on stage. The party meetings were ended with a short closing statement from each candidate. Following a short joint session with Girls’ State, each of the towns raced back to Harper Hall in order to cast their ballots in the hopes of being the home of the future Boys’ State governor.
By: Ryan Wall
Today at the track meet, Co-Chief Counselor Scott Day was interviewed about his experience at Boys’ State over his 26 years at the program, both as an attendee and counselor.
The first experience he had at Boys’ State was when he attended in 1992. Originally from Wayne, his counselor Mr. Munson recommended that he apply, setting into motion a lifetime of dedication to the program. Sponsored by Mr. Irwin L. Sears from Legion Post 43, Mr. Day had a fantastic time at Boys’ State and was selected to attend Boys’ Nation where he met President George H. W. Bush.
After his experience, he returned the following year as a Junior Counselor and continued to return in various positions for the last 25 years. Over that time, he has seen technology advance and affect Boys’ State, while keeping the core focus on government and citizenship consistent. In 2006, Mr. Day was part of the team that set up the first Boys’ State website. When asked about the changing technology, he replied that he heartily endorses the tremendous ability they have to keep Staters in contact with the people they meet years down the road.
Mr. Day concluded by explaining that the magic of Boys’ State is hard to put into words. The essence of this week is that we have an opportunity to live as the better versions of ourselves. One thing that may be a novel experience for some attendees is failing and to be a “big fish from a small pond thrown into the ocean.” We have significant, tangible opportunities, not only for elected positions but to return and be a part of the program in the future. He wants to leave Boys’ Staters with the sentiment that nobody is alone here. He said, “Everyone has the chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
By: Michael Steele
Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley started his career in Nebraskan Politics running for Senator. Eighteen years later, he is now our state’s Lt. Governor. During the 2018 Boys’ and Girls’ State Lt. Governor Foley came to discuss some of the more pressing issues in today’s government. He opened with discussing some of the recent accomplishments of the Nebraskan Unicameral, some of which were international trade talks for Nebraska agriculture products such as beef and works on a successful budget.
One of the noteworthy facts about this new budget is how comparable it is to those drafted by Boys’ Staters. All week the main solution given out by campers was to lower and raise different taxes, but what Lt. Governor Foley told the attentive listeners was the cutting of funds instead of raising taxes.
During questions, campers asked many of the issues discussed throughout the week. When the topic of Property Tax got brought up the Lt. Governor made it clear how those in Western and Central Nebraska, especially those affiliated with the agriculture business, need relief by having it lowered. The only thing in the way is the bickering within legislation in which a handful of senators can’t agree on one solution. He stressed how detrimental this is to the agriculture business in Rural Nebraska and Nebraska as a whole who rely on agriculture.
The hope is that those of you who are reading will be able to find the answer to this problem for Nebraska and can accomplish what politicians of today can’t.
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.