The Ninth Circuit Civics Contest

The 2017 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest is sponsored by the Ninth Circuit Courts and Community Committee and the federal courts of the western United States.  The contest is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in public, private and parochial high schools and home-schooled students of equivalent status. Students are asked to relate the legal history of the Japanese internment to the government’s current efforts to protect against terrorist attacks in the U.S. The Ninth Circuit contest awards cash prizes to the top three finishers in both the essay and video competitions.  Prize amounts will be $2,000 for 1st place, $1,000 for 2nd place and $500 for 3rd place.

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  • The contest is open to high school students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Sophomores, juniors and seniors attending public, private, parochial and charter schools and home-schooled students of equivalent grade status are invited to participate.
  • Videos may be submitted by an individual or by teams of up to 3 students. A student may be involved in the production of only one video.
  • Children of employees of the federal courts are not eligible to participate.

How to Apply:

  • A student may submit both an essay and video. A student may submit only one essay and be involved in the production of only one video.
  • The topic for the Ninth Circuit Civics Contest is as follows: Consider and describe the relevance of the Japanese internment today as our nation combats terrorism.
  • The contest has two components:
  1. Individual students can express their thoughts and ideas in an essay of between 500 and 1,000 words and
  2. Individuals and teams of up to three students can produce a 3-5 minute video on the theme.
  • Your essay or video should:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of the internment and its aftermath
  2. Explain what constitutional powers and rights were brought into conflict by the Hirabayashi, Korematsu and Endo cases and
  3. Discuss the important role of the Judicial Branch – then and now – in resolving constitutional conflicts involving national security and individual rights.

Award Amount:

The Ninth Circuit contest awards cash prizes to the top three finishers in both the essay and video competitions. Travel and Accommodations will be given to attend the 2017 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in San Francisco, California. Awards are as follows:

  • First place:$2,000
  • Second place: $1,000
  • Third place: $500

Application Deadline:

Entries will be accepted beginning February 1, 2017. Videos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on April 16, 2017.

Link for More Information:

Contact Information:

For more information, you can contact the Ninth Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive, (415) 355-8973 /


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