Civics contest focuses on 4th Amendment in 21st Century

Posted on Jan 04 2019

SAN FRANCISCO—The 2019 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest offers high school students in the western United States and Pacific islands an opportunity to win cash prizes while learning about the role of the judicial branch in preserving our constitutional rights.

The theme of the contest is “The 4th Amendment in the 21st Century: What is an ‘Unreasonable Search and Seizure’ in the Digital Age?”

Students are challenged to write an essay or produce a short video focusing on how the federal courts have applied 4th Amendment protections to electronic data devices, particularly the cellphones upon which almost everyone relies.

The contest is open to young people in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, the U.S. territory of Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Students in grades 9-12 in public, private, parochial and charter schools, and home-schooled students of equivalent grade status are invited to participate.

The contest is organized by the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit and sponsored by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal district and bankruptcy courts in the15 judicial districts that make up the circuit.

A total of $7,000 in cash prizes will be awarded. The top three finishers in both the essay and video competitions will receive $2,000 for 1st place, $1,000 for 2nd place and $500 for 3rd place. The 1st-place winners along with a parent or guardian also will be invited to the 2019 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in Spokane, Washington.

Many students also have a chance to win cash prizes in local competitions being sponsored by the individual judicial districts to select finalists for the circuit-wide contest.

Contest rules and other information are available now on the contest website: Entries will be accepted beginning February 1, 2019. The deadline for entries is 11:59pm Pacific Time on April 1, 2019. Finalists will be announced in May and the winners in June.

For more information about the Ninth Circuit Civics Contest, contact the Ninth Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive, 355-8873. (PR)

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