Students overturn ruling against Mickey Mouse

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Barely tall enough to see over the Supreme Court bench, the justices listened closely to both arguments before deciding in favor of Mickey Mouse.

"Hearing both sides of the case is nerve wracking," said Troy Gayer, 10, who acted at a Supreme Court justice for a day. "But since I've read a lot of mystery books, I've learned they always make one mistake."

Three fourth-grade classes from Mark Twain Elementary School spent Friday morning with Justice Bob Rose, learning the inner workings of the Supreme Court.

"They learn about our system of government and they learn, in a general way, what courts do and how we decide cases," Rose said. "It's a real-life educational program."

The classes were divided into groups and given a mock trial. Law clerks Bill Mark and Tracy Difillippo explained Minnie Mouse had won $1 million in a lawsuit against Mickey Mouse because his dog, Pluto, chewed up the ruby slippers she left in the back yard to air out.

Mickey Mouse appealed.

Half of the students were on Mickey's side and the other on Minnie's.

Zaria Hanses and Teresa Anaya, both 9, represented Mickey Mouse, arguing he had no obligation to tie up his dog and that Minnie should have placed her shoes elsewhere.

Kacie Saucedo, 10, and Jonathan Riley, 9, argued it was Mickey's responsibility to make sure Pluto did not destroy the shoes.

After the arguments, the nine justices -- all fourth-graders -- retreated to the chambers to decide.

"I think Minnie would have already known that Mickey would let (Pluto) have some fun running around in the back yard," Ricardo Ugarte, 10, concluded. "It's Minnie's fault."

The other eight judges agreed and a unanimous decision was passed to cut the $1 million award in half.

Rose's wife, Joleen Rose works as a substitute at Mark Twain Elementary School and set up the visit, which also included a tour of the judges' chambers.

"I wanted them to take advantage of this beautiful building and to be able to see how the judicial branch works," she said. "Maybe some of them will strive to be part of the judicial system."

And they took away important life lessons.

"I learned it's true that everything may not turn out fair," said Kellen Roath, 10.


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