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Ninth Circuit high school civics contest to conclude April 1

SAN FRANCISCO (Press Release) — Just a few weeks remain for young people in the western United States and Pacific islands to enter the 2019 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest, an essay and video competition offering substantial cash prizes and an opportunity to meet eminent jurists and legal practitioners.

The contest is open to young people in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Students in grades 9-12 in public, private and parochial schools or home-schooled students of equivalent grade status may enter.

The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on April 1, 2019. More information is available at

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 cosponsored by the Courts and Community Committee of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit and the federal courts in the 15 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. The conference is an annual gathering of federal judges and lawyers practicing in the federal courts.

In addition to the Ninth Circuit contest, many students also have a chance to win cash prizes in preliminary competitions sponsored by the individual judicial districts to select finalists.

For more information about the Ninth Circuit Civics Contest, contact the Ninth Circuit Office of the Circuit Executive at (415) 355-8873 or email