Texas Sixth Court of Appeals Holds Court on ETBU Campusby Mike Midkiff
MARSHALL, Texas (3/27/13) - The Woods Great Room at East Texas Baptist University has been the site for banquets, receptions, meetings, and concerts in the past but never as courtroom. That all changed when the Texas Sixth Court of Appeals heard three cases for submission and oral argument on Wednesday, March 27, in the versatile great room located on the second floor of the Ornelas Student Center.
Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss, III started the first of three sessions promptly at 10:00 a.m. with Justice Bailey C. Moseley on his left and Justice Jack Carter on this right. Chief Justice Morriss told the court audience of lawyers and ETBU students from various political science classes, "On behalf of the court, I want to say thank you to East Texas Baptist University, for allowing us to hold these proceedings here today.” The Sixth Court of Appeals serves the Texarkana, Texas area and heard two oral arguments in the morning and one in the afternoon.
"It is very common for us to hear oral arguments in other places other than in Texarkana,” said Justice Moseley. "We have a 19 county district and Texarkana is in the extreme northeastern county (Bowie) of the district and goes as far west as Fannin County, which is Bonham. The southeastern most part is Panola County, which is Carthage.”
"It can be a long drive for some. We try, when we have oral arguments to bunch them up geographically in places that are more convenient to the people that are engaged in the contest before us,” explained Justice Moseley as the court heard oral arguments in cases from Gregg, Harrison, and Panola counties.
This is not the first time that the Sixth Court of Appeals has held court on campus. According to ETBU Professor of Political Science Dr. Israel Nandamudi the court held a session some eight years ago. However, this is the first time in the Woods Great Room of the Ornelas Student Center which was completed in January 2011.
"This is a great educational experience for our students,” said Dr. Nandamudi. "When the court comes to the ETBU campus, the students can see the judicial side of our government first hand. If they gain basic understanding of how the court system and how the appeal process works, this will be beneficial to them.”
The court was scheduled to hear the three cases in the court of the Gregg County Commissioners, but a conflict moved the oral arguments to ETBU. "We are pleased to be welcomed on campus today,” remarked Justice Moseley.
Click here to read Joe Holloway's story in the Marshall News Messenger,