National News

Aloha high schoolers get front-row seat to Oregon Supreme Court hearing on Oswego Lake

Posted May 4, 2018 4:32 p.m. EDT

— Students at Aloha High School got to listen in on a controversial Oregon Supreme Court case reviewing the public's right to access Oswego Lake.

The formal hearing was held Friday inside an informal setting: the school's auditorium, which was filled with a crowd of hundreds of students.

The case, Kramer v. City of Lake Oswego, stems back to a 2012 decision by the city that restricted access to the lake.

An attorney for the plaintiff, seeking to allow members of the public access from public lands to public waters, argued the Oregon Supreme Court should overrule a lower court decision which allowed the restrictions that barred access to continue.

The plaintiffs also argued restrictions discriminate against non-residents who want to swim in the lake by entering the water at a city park.

Attorneys for the city of Lake Oswego, however, argued they want the park that provides lake access to be a "limited resource" that would only allow access to residents who pay for it.

Some Aloha High students told reporters observing and learning about the process was interesting.

Holding an official hearing in a school setting is a long-standing practice for the Oregon Supreme Court, who said it's part of an effort to educate young people about the court system and justice.

Students also got to listen to a second hearing focused on a DUII case.

They also had the opportunity to ask justices questions that were unrelated to the cases in which they were presiding.