May/June 2006 issue

Judicial Learning Center Opens in St. Louis


Visitors to the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis, headquarters of the Eighth Circuit and the nation’s largest federal court facility, will have a hands-on opportunity to learn about the federal court system. The Judicial Learning Center, prominently located on the main floor, opened its doors to the public in May.

The center is 2,500-square feet of space devoted to an interactive learning environment. It includes a three-judge bench, jury box, counsel tables, screen, and display areas around the perimeter. When content is added to these fixtures, visitors will learn about the difference between the state and federal courts, how the courts work, the three levels of the federal courts, each of which is housed in the courthouse, and the importance of an independent judiciary and the rule of law in American society.

News items about current events affecting citizens in federal court, parties pursuing justice, and the public officials who perform the work of the federal courts will be highlighted in a special section of the center’s space.

Until permanent exhibits are installed, the center will feature traveling displays with justice and law themes. The first display presents the role of the U.S. district courts in immigration, naturalization, and deportation proceedings. Provided by the American Immigration Law Foundation, the exhibit is entitled, “America’s Heritage: A History of U.S. Immigration,” and will run until July 15. Read more about the center in this article from The Third Branch.