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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 15, 2003

Iowa Justices At UI Sept. 20 For Annual Supreme Court Day

An Iowa legal tradition will be renewed Sept. 20 when the University of Iowa College of Law hosts the 2003 Supreme Court Day.

The day's event recognizes the college's historic relationship with the Iowa State Supreme Court. All six sitting justices of the high court, Chief Justice Louis Lavorato, and Associate Justices Jerry Larson, James Carter, Mark Cady, Marsha Ternus and Michael Streit, are expected to be present. Also on the bench will be retired Justice Bruce Snell, who will occupy the seat recently vacated by the retirement of Linda Neuman. Snell served on the court from 1987-2001.

During their visit, the justices will preside over an appellate argument in which four UI law students will argue a fictitious case. The case, State of Iowa v. Cathy Smith, involves a defendant who was pulled over for erratic driving after the police received an anonymous tip. During the traffic stop, police discovered a loaded pistol in her glove box. Since Smith had two felony convictions on her record, she was charged with being a habitual offender. She was convicted at trial and sentenced to a term of imprisonment from 25 to 99 years.

Smith is appealing her sentence, arguing that the search of her vehicle violated her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the length of the sentence violates her Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

Arguing for the state will be Chace Ramey and Joe Clamon. Arguing for Smith will be Sarah Brown and Christine Ritland. All are third-year law students.

Arguments about the case will be presented in the Levitt Courtroom of the Boyd Law Building at 10 a.m. The arguments are open to the public.

Supreme Court Day is held yearly to honor the state's top court, and it recognizes the college's origins, which began in 1865 when then Chief Justice George G. Wright founded the law school in his judicial chambers.

Following the moot court argument, students and justices will disperse to the homes of faculty members for a brunch at 11:30 a.m. Following that will be a 3 p.m. cookout in the courtyard of the Boyd Law Building that precedes the Iowa-Arizona State football game at 5 p.m. The cookout is sponsored by the Cedar Rapids law firm of Shuttleworth and Ingersoll.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,