U.S. Supreme Court 1969 landmark case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District


Tinker Program About 70 D.C. Public School students participated in a program sponsored by the Historical Society on the issue of the free speech rights of students on March 22, 2017. The 90-minute program held in the Ceremonial Courtroom consisted of a reenactment of the oral arguments presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1969 landmark case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. The aim of the program was to introduce students to the federal court system and the role of judges in our system of divided government

The reenactment of the Tinker argument took place before D.C. Circuit judges David S. Tatel and Sri Srinivasan, and U.S. District Court judge Katanji Brown Jackson. Judge Tatel's law clerks presented the program to the students, with two of them -- Andrew Rohrbach and Steven Seigel presenting the oral arguments. The students actively engaged in a discussion of the case and asked the judges a number of probative questions ranging from whether students had comparable rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, to questions about the judicial selection process and the role of judges in criminal enforcement proceedings.

Students from Theodore Roosevelt, Dunbar and Ballou High Schools and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School participated in the program. Special thanks to Society Board member Andrea Ferster for serving as Chair of the program.




Roosevent High School



Ballou High School



E.L.Haynes Public Charter School



Dunbar High School




Photographs Courtesy of Ann Wilkins, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

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