The Supreme Court of Missouri’s civic education committee has launched a new website, Discover Missouri Courts, that can be found at www.courts.mo.gov/civiceducation/. It is devoted exclusively to providing user-friendly information about Missouri courts and judges.
“Missouri’s courts touch so many lives – with more than one million cases being filed each year,” Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenridge said. “But many people lack an understanding about their courts. Research shows that people know more about popular reality television shows than they do about the three branches of government, or how a case is decided in a court of law.” “Our sense was that perhaps this lack of understanding stems from the fact that courts simply are not a topic of everyday conversation,” Judge Breckenridge continued. “And so the Supreme Court of Missouri created a civic education committee to help engage Missourians in a dialogue about their courts.”
One of the first visions of the civic education committee was to create a website to help Missourians learn about their courts. The new website will serve as a foundation for all the committee’s efforts. The site includes not only information about the committee’s function but also about Missouri courts and judges. It also features The Constitution Project competition, in which students from 12 schools statewide will vie for top honors this fall while learning about how the constitution works in their communities in the fields of crime scene investigation, journalism, and trial advocacy. In addition, the site also provides a way for teachers and others in the community to request presentations about the courts or the law by local judges.
“Most importantly, this new civic education website seeks to serve all Missourians,” Judge Breckenridge said. “And so we welcome your feedback as you explore our new site so that we are better able to make it answer your questions about your Missouri courts.”