Ninth Circuit Civics Contest

Deadline April 16, 2017

The 2017 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest, Not to be Forgotten: Legal Lessons of the Japanese Internment, is an essay and video competition sponsored by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It is open to high school students in public, private and parochial schools at all grade levels and to home-schooled students of equivalent grade status. This year's theme focuses on constitutional conflicts that can arise when national security and individual rights are threatened. Students are asked to relate the legal history of the Japanese internment to current government efforts to protect the United States against terrorism.

The contest has two components: a district level and circuit-wide competition. Preliminary judging for the district level competition will be conducted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the Northern California Chapter of the Federal Bar Association before advancing to the circuit-wide competition. The local contest is open to students in Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.

Students may submit entries as individuals in the essay contest or enter as a team of up to three students in the video contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners at both the district level (6-$100 prizes will be awarded to the top 3 essays and top 3 videos) and at the circuit level ($2,000, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in both essay and video) of the competition.

“We hope the contest will encourage participants to think about the real-world applications of what they have learned in the classroom about our democracy and legal system,” said U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., of San Francisco, who leads the Northern District Court’s Community Outreach Committee. “We look forward to hearing what students from all parts of our district have to say about these important issues.”

Complete information on the circuit-wide contest is available at For more information about the district contest, please contact Reva Hoosier at (415) 522-2045 /