A CIVICS EDUCATION INITIATIVE OF THE
Federal Courts of the Ninth Circuit
Janis L. Sammartino,
Every so often, we are shown that “everything old is new again.” After digging into the origin of this phrase, it has been cited as a quote of Churchill, Mark Twain, and others; and some
have simply stated some version of the phrase without attribution. Now, this pertains to the recent decision we made to “rename” ourselves the Public Information and Community Outreach Committee—PICO for short!
May 1, 2020
September 17, 2020
Anniversary of the Federal Court System
September 24, 2020
Bill of Rights Day
December 15, 2020
The Public Information and Community Committee was established in 2000. It was the Judicial Branch’s first circuit-level committee dedicated solely to improving understanding of and confidence in the federal courts. Committee members are appointed by the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit. They include federal judges, clerks of court, members of the bar, journalists and educators. The committee’s goals are stated in its Mission Statement:
“To facilitate better relations between the courts and the media, and to promote existing community outreach programs, which help educate the public about the work of the courts.”
The committee organizes educational conferences and workshops, which serve to inform journalists about the law and legal processes, and allow journalists and judges to interact outside the courtroom. Through this website and a quarterly newsletter, the committee publicizes and promotes the civics education efforts being undertaken by courts in the Ninth Circuit. The committee also sponsors a circuit-wide essay and video contest for high school students living in the western states and Pacific islands.
The committee works closely with the Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center in Sacramento, which is a focal point of civics education and community outreach in Northern California and beyond. The Ninth Circuit provides space and professional staff for the center and the chair of the committee serves as an ex officio member of a non-profit foundation that raises funds for the center activities.
For more information, contact the Ninth Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive, (415) 355-8000.