BIDWELL — River Valley High School students visited Monday with Gallipolis-based attorney and Gallia prosecutor hopeful Jason Holdren as they reviewed their constitutional rights and discussed police and criminal justice procedures.
Holdren, of Crown City, gave a similar lecture at South Gallia High School a few months ago. He has focused on area youth in trying to encourage them to take an interest in the law and be aware of how American judicial practices happen. Holdren has also encouraged area schools to take an interest in the off-site arguments being conducted April 20 by visiting Ohio Supreme Court justices at Meigs High School.
Holdren will be running under the Republican banner in the November general election.
Holdren spoke with students in Mrs. Andrea Gannaway’s classes. He asked students who they felt would become the next President of the United States. Some raised their hands for both liberal and conservative candidates. Students were then asked who they felt embodied the most powerful agency in the country.
Some of students felt the President was obviously the most powerful person in the country. Other students said they felt the media had a large amount of power over how the country was led.
“I would argue that the (U.S.) Supreme Court is the most powerful entity that’s out there,” Holdren said. “I would argue that (justices) are more powerful than the President because there are a lot of people ready to see Barack Obama leave. There were a lot of people ready to see George Bush leave. (Presidents) get eight years, max, but their appointments to the court don’t get eight years; they’re in there for life. So, they are either dying on the bench or they are going to retire. They are impacting things such as gun rights and how do we define marriage and abortion and all sorts of things. We still see cases that define the Fourth Amendment.”
Holdren asked students about their opinions on the Second Amendment. He asked students where they thought lines should be drawn in regards to weapon ownership. Students discussed whether owning a rocket launcher was going too far or that citizens should have the right to own. Where was the line?
Holdren explained that this is why the SCOTUS is important to American procedures.
“Somebody is going to draw the line,” Holdren said. “Somebody’s going to tell me who I can buy a gun from, how many guns I can have. Can I have a clip that owns more than three? Somebody is going to define that. And more times than not, it’s your Supreme Court. And more importantly, you’ve often had four (justices) against four. So I would argue that over the last 30 years, Justice (Anthony) Kennedy on the Supreme Court has been the most powerful person in the country because he has been the swing vote on so many issues. I only say that to say that if you’re passionate about the left or the right, just think about what they’re going to do to the Constitution and who the (presidential candidates) would put on the court (in coming months) and does that align with what you believe in.”
From there, Holdren went on to discuss police search and seizure methods and student’s rights in handling said situations.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.