By Gavin Nordberg
I want to talk a little bit about something that we as a class got the opportunity to experience today. In a last minute change of plans, we had the chance to visit the Supreme Court. We were supposed to meet with Abby Finkenauer, the Representative for Iowa’s first congressional district, however she was unable to make it back to DC in time for out meeting, due to snow. So we reschedule the meeting and got to walk around the highest court in the land instead.
While I was there a few things crossed my mind, specifically the historical and the symbolic presence of the court. Like every visitor that goes to the Supreme Court, we had a look inside the Supreme Court chamber, and for some this sight was breathtaking. I think it should be for everyone, and it might have been, but to some their wonder was more noticable. To me it’s so fun to see astonished they are because many understand and appreciate the court for what it is. People that gaze in awe realize the decisions that have been made under the roof and in between the walls. Some of the most important and controversial laws have been upheld under that roof.
However, not all of the most prominent court cases have been decided under the Supreme Court standing today. The modern court as we see it was erected in 1935. All the cases before that were decided in various court rooms used as the Supreme Court meeting location. That being said, there is very much a presence of all the cases and all the Chief Justices that have graced the court over the many years of the institution’s existence. So for me, when I walked into the court today, I realized what deliberations occurred here, and the landmark decisions that were composed from those deliberations. The beauty of the court is not just in the architecture of the marble and custom judges chairs, it is in the years of service from lawyers and justices who have spent countless hours deciding the fate of laws in this country. The beauty comes in a symbolic yet physical form. We know that our country would not be the way it is today had the decisions from inside the courtroom come out a different way. So for me, it cool to be in such a great place that has had such a profound impact on life in this country, and it excites me that other people understand this too.