First Amendment Trial Reenactment Comes to Syracuse

United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino, who directed the Russo trial reenactment, addresses the crowd with the cast in the background

United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino, who directed the Russo trial reenactment, addresses the crowd with the cast in the background

On March 21, 2019, the historic case of Russo v. Central School District No. 1 was brought to life with a trial reenactment at the James M. Hanley U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building.

The event was sponsored by the FCBA and featured NDNY judges, court personnel and attorneys among the cast. Mock trial groups from several local high schools were in attendance.

Russo is the story of a Rochester-area teacher who, in 1970, sued her school district for firing her for not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in her homeroom class. The District Court ruled against Ms. Russo. She then appealed to the Second Circuit, which reversed the District Court and ruled in her favor, finding that Ms. Russo had engaged in constitutionally protected activity. The Supreme Court did not take the case. The Second Circuit maintains a web page devoted to the case, available here.

The Russo trial reenactment previously took place at the federal courthouse in Albany, on November 15, 2018.

Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby addresses the crowd at the March 21, 2019 Russo trial reenactment in Syracuse.

Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby addresses the crowd at the March 21, 2019 Russo trial reenactment in Syracuse