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Indiana chief justice visit inspires high school students

Chief justice visits Indianapolis high schoolers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — High schoolers on Wednesday said meeting Indiana’s top judge inspired them to double down on their own career aspirations, in the legal field or otherwise.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush met with history and government classes at Shortridge High School as part of a series of visits by Indiana judges surrounding Constitution Day, which falls on Sept. 17. Rush said the visits are meant to help young people understand the role the courts play in the rights they enjoy and to restore deteriorating trust in America’s institutions.

“I want them to see that judges care. They care about them. They care about their rights. They care about issues of fairness,” said Rush.

Rush told the students about her decision to attend law school after earlier aspirations, such as engineering, fell through. She also talked about cases ranging from the Indiana Supreme Court’s landmark 1820 Lasselle v. State ruling, which effectively ended slavery in the state, to the United States Supreme Court’s Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. ruling, a 2021 case involving a profanity-laced tirade on TikTok by a high school student.

For sophomore Georgianna Rayford, who is already considering a legal career, hearing from Rush makes her even more determined to get into law school.

“As a woman, you usually get put down in society, and for her to share her experiences, it was really motivational,” said Rayford.

Even students who don’t plan to go into law said they enjoyed her visit. Rayford’s classmate, Ares Euneman, said she was glad to meet a woman who is in a position of power. She said she was especially surprised to learn about Rush’s indirect path into the legal profession.

“I’m going to take away from this, no matter what background you came from or what part of life you are in, it’s never to late to change courses and it’s never too late to take a hold of your life,” said Euneman.

Rush said she enjoys hearing students’ perspectives, adding they often ask very intelligent questions.

“Don’t underestimate the interest that these children have in the future of our government and our institution,” said Rush. “There’s a lot of power here.”