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The Honorable Judge Sutton Speaks to AP Political Science Students

On Tuesday, November 7, the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton visited with AP Political Science students and offered Ramblers a rare opportunity for a candid discussion and insight from an influential member of government.
“This speaker aligns with the Social Studies Department’s mission to produce a learning environment where young women and  men, in the tradition of St. Ignatius, become aware of their responsibilities to God and humanity in all things,” says AP Political Science teacher Mr. Mark McGuire ’06. “We hope that students connect course content to the community through engaging with speakers such as Judge Sutton, and that they develop an awareness of their roles as global citizens through the study of various nations, peoples and cultures.”

Judge Sutton, who has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 2003, discussed with students his path to the Appellate Court and fielded questions about everything from the confirmation process and working for the government to the interaction between the judicial, executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government.  

“I thought Mr. Sutton's speech was very interesting, and I was amazed to hear from such an influential and important person in our government,” says John H. Mawicke Jr. ’19. Mawicke asked the judge how he represents the vast spectrum of interests in his circuit, given its broad group of states. “He said that it is difficult, but getting so many different opinions and views makes it interesting,” Mawicke recalls. “I am very interested in law myself so I really enjoyed his presentation. I think it was a great opportunity for political science students...and the presentation inspired me to be more likely to pursue a career in law.”  

Henry J. Kroeger ’18 was surprised at how young Sutton became a judge. He asked him whether he preferred working in the private sector as a lawyer or in the public sector as first a solicitor general and then a judge. “Judge Sutton said that while he loved his work as a judge, he missed having clients to celebrate victories with and learn from defeats,” Kroeger says.   

Each year, political science faculty members welcome a number of guests speakers to enhance the classroom curriculum. “It is important to us that our students realize that what they are learning in our classrooms has direct application to the real world,” says McGuire. “The Social Studies Department has been thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our students with such real-world experiences, enabling them to network with key political actors in our nation.”

Judge Sutton is an adjunct professor at Ohio State University College of Law. He teaches seminars on state constitutional law, the U.S. Supreme Court and appellate advocacy. He also teaches a class on State Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to the late Supreme Court Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr., and Antonin Scalia, as well as Judge Thomas Meskill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
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