Justice Roberts visit to county nears


Special to the OBSERVER

JAMESTOWN – With Chief Justice John Roberts’ historic visit less than a week away, the Robert H. Jackson Center is finalizing all of the details for Friday’s event.

“The event itself will kick off at 10 a.m. sharp,” said James Johnson, Robert H. Jackson Center president. “During the event we will have an invocation by Father Fuchs, who was Justice Jackson’s bodyguard at the Nuremberg Trials. He was a young sergeant in the Army and was assigned to Jackson the entire time he was in Germany.”

The invocation will be followed by the national anthem, which will be performed by Juanita Jackson, a Chautauqua resident, accomplished singer and wife of John Jackson, a board member. After the national anthem, John Q. Barrett will introduce Chief Justice Roberts, and there will be a presentation of a bust of Justice Jackson to Roberts, which will be displayed at the Supreme Court.

Prior to the program, the JHS A Cappella Choir’s Madrigal Singers will be performing.

“We’ve confirmed that more than 1,250 students will be there to observe the event from more than 15 schools, but we expect the total to be closer to 1,500 students,” said Johnson. “Some schools we’re still waiting to hear from.”

According to Johnson, the event will be broadcast live from the Jackson Center on both radio and television.

“We expect C-SPAN will be here to tape the event, which they’ll be able to show at their discretion,” said Johnson. “What’s really exciting is that the C-SPAN bus will be coming.”

The 45-foot-long C-SPAN bus will be parked outside the Jackson Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., in conjunction with the public address by Chief Justice Roberts. The bus is equipped with touch-screen computers that demonstrate the multimedia resources C-SPAN provides and helps students understand how the media affect political viewpoints in America. Aboard the C-SPAN bus, visitors can learn about the networks’ programming and resources through interactive technology, including in-depth public affairs coverage and educational outreach; touch-screen quizzes on C-SPAN and the three branches of government; and social media networking including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Tout, XM Radio and mobile apps.

The local stop by the C-SPAN bus fits in with the Jackson Center’s effort to turn the Chief Justice’s visit into an educational opportunity for students across the region. The center is reaching out to schools and colleges across the region with special curriculum and live streaming of his remarks.

During the event, streets will be closed going one block in each direction from the Jackson Center in order to allow plenty of room for spectators.

“The Chief Justice will be up on a stage, so he will be easily viewed by anyone in the vicinity,” said Johnson. “We do recommend that people leave their backpacks at home, however. They can bring their cameras with of course, but we want to avoid any unattended backpacks or bags during the event for obvious reasons.”

According to Johnson, there will be a large security presence at the event, which will be coordinated by the U.S. Marshal service.

“I’m sure that the security measures will be both obvious and not-so-obvious,” said Johnson. “There will also be members of the New York State Police and the Jamestown Police Department on location as well.”

Educational programming regarding the Chief Justice’s visit can be found on the Jackson Center website at www.roberthjackson.org.

“I’m sure that there’s still a lot of information that we’ll be getting over the next week, but things seem to be coming together just fine,” said Johnson.

Comments on this article may be sent to editorial@observertoday.com.