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Baldwin earns supreme appointment at Boys State

Staff writer

Issac Baldwin of Marion knew what he wanted when he went to American Legion Boys State, and he achieved his goal when he was appointed chief justice of the supreme court during the simulation of Kansas government held June 5-11 at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

“My plan the entire time was to make it to that point,” Baldwin said.

“I knew a little bit about the law from my upbringing,” Baldwin added, referring to his father, attorney Daniel Baldwin.

Nearly 450 high school seniors-to-be campaigned for city, county, and state offices in the mock government event. Baldwin took a district judge position to start his quest for the top judiciary spot.

“I made some rulings and went through a pretty rigorous application system,” Baldwin said. “It was a peer-review process. I spent quite a bit of time in the evening doing extra work to that position.”

Baldwin’s work didn’t end when he was appointed chief justice of the court by the Boys State governor.

“When you’re thrown into a room and told you’re the leader here and you’re leading people who know as much or more about the issues as you do, it gives you the push to go above and beyond,” Baldwin said.

The court studied and ruled on cases currently before the Kansas Supreme Court involving topics such as the death penalty and search and seizure rights. They also conducted a trial.

“One of the cities was suing the bank of Boys’ State,” Baldwin said. “It was interesting because it involved several counselors as well.”

While the simulation is a serious exercise in government, participants took steps to add some excitement to the activities, Baldwin said.

“It seems like the last day or two things boiled down into some form of anarchy,” Baldwin said. “There was talk of treason, people trying to secede. At one point I think the governor was accused with some form of drug possession. It was a totally erroneous charge by someone just trying to stir up trouble.”

Baldwin will put the leadership experience he gained to use in his activities as a senior at Marion High School.

“Boys State gives you an all-encompassing style of leadership, being able to positively move things forward,” Baldwin said.

“On the football team, it’s a lot about the underclassmen and getting them going to have the best chances. In student council, it’s more the organizational side, communication and getting things done. Boys State teaches both,” Baldwin said.

“Overall I thought it was a fantastic experience,” Baldwin said. “I was able to meet a lot of people that seem to really know what our nation needs, and it was pretty inspiring that the youth of our era have so much passion and insight when it comes to those things.”

Last modified June 27, 2012

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