I. Leaving the Nineteenth Century
. . .
F. Terms of Court
The first Supreme Court rode a circuit. Lounsberry described it as "a 'migratory' court" that "had no legal home from its organization until 1909."(72) The 1889 judicial article directed three terms be held annually, one each at Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks unless otherwise directed by law.(73) The 1909 legislature directed otherwise by requiring the Court to hold two general terms each year in April and in October at the "seat of government" in Bismarck.(74)
Later, the North Dakota Revised Code of 1943 directed the Court to hold "general terms" monthly at the state capitol, except in July and August.(75) In recent times, the Supreme Court has heard appellate arguments nearly continuously from the first of September through the end of June each year at its courtroom in the state capitol. In the last two decades, the Court has sometimes scheduled additional one-day terms elsewhere at schools and colleges for educational purposes, especially some arguments each October at the Law School in Grand Forks.(76) The Court should hold more educational terms around the state.(77)
72. Lounsberry, supra note 1, at 446.
73. See N.D. Const. art. IV, § 88 (repealed 1976)
74. See Lounsberry, supra note 1, at 446; 1909 N.D. Laws ch. 72, at 64.
75. N.D. Rev. Code § 27-0206 (1943) (derived from N.D. Sup. Ct. Prac. R. 2, and repealed by 1981 N.D. Laws ch. 316, § 2, at 854).
76. "[Dean W. Jeremy] Davis said the Supreme Court has been visiting UND during Homecoming for at least 20 years [to hear two cases a year]. Previously, the court would make its visit to the law school in the spring." Darrel Koehler, N.D. Supreme Court Hears Cases at UND, Grand Forks Herald, Oct. 15, 1999, at 4C.
Fully 61 percent of the people surveyed [by the ABA recently] said they wanted to learn more about the justice system. Of that number, 75 percent said that they wanted to learn directly from judges. These results show that the public is aware of knowledge gaps and is willing to be educated, preferably by the judges they are shown to hold in high esteem.
Philip S. Anderson, Time to Open the Electronic Eye, A.B.A. J., June 1999, at 8.