Monday, October 19, 2015

Word from the Chair

This is an exciting time for the Courts and Community Committee. For the past two years, the committee has cosponsored a civics contest in conjunction with the annual Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. The cosponsors were the host districts for the conferences, the Northern District of California in 2014 and the Southern District of California in 2015. Beginning next year, we plan to make the contest an annual circuit-wide event open to high school students throughout the western United States!

The 2016 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest will include essay and video competitions. The theme is "50 Years After the Miranda Decision: How Federal Courts Defined the Rights of the Accused." Rules and judging criteria will be announced in December. The contest will begin January 1, 2016, and end on April 15, 2016, with winners announced in June. Monetary prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place winners.

Organizing a circuit-wide contest is an ambitious undertaking requiring a collaboration between the circuit and the district and bankruptcy courts. We anticipate that a number of districts will organize their own local contests to select finalists for the circuit-wide competition. In other districts, the circuit will conduct the preliminary judging. The goal is to have all of the districts represented among the finalists in each contest. Circuit judging panels will then select the ultimate winners.

Please look elsewhere in this website for more information about the 2015 contest. It truly was a great success thanks to the efforts of many, many people.

Over the last several years, we have noted the growing emphasis within the judicial branch of the need for better civics education. Having all of the courts in the nation’s largest circuit join together in this event will be an impressive example of the Ninth Circuit’s commitment to this cause.

Thanks for reading!

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