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2019 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest Finalists Announced

June 4, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Preliminary judging has been completed in the 2019 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for high school students in the western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Congratulations to the finalists who won the local contest sponsored by the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. The essay winners are: 1st place, Olivia Caudell, a senior at West Salem High School in Salem; 2nd place, Rohan Menon, a junior at Westview High School in Portland; and 3rd place, Caleb Goodrich, a senior at West Salem. The winners of the video competition are the team of Jeff Mugleston, Tycho LeGrue and Jacob Burris, juniors at Willamette High School in Eugene.

All told, over 1,300 young people entered the contest, which offers cash prizes and a chance to meet some of the nation’s preeminent jurists and legal practitioners.  “The 4th Amendment in the 21st Century—What is an ‘Unreasonable Search and Seizure’ in the Digital Age?” was the theme of the contest. Students in grades 9-12 in public, private and parochial schools and home-schooled students of equivalent grade status were challenged to write an essay or produce a short video on the topic. 

All of the 15 federal courts in the Ninth Circuit held local contests with winners going on to compete in the circuit-wide competition. In all, 45 essays and 26 videos were selected for final consideration by the Ninth Circuit Courts and Community Committee, which will announce the winners later this month. At the circuit level, prizes of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to first-, second- and third place winners in both the writing and video competition. In addition, first-place winners along with a parent/guardian will be invited to attend the circuit conference.

“Civics education is fundamental to help ensure that young people become knowledgeable citizens who understand and participate in our democracy. We are extremely pleased to have had so many students from many different places in the circuit participate,” said U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of San Diego, who chairs the Ninth Circuit Courts and Community Committee.

The Ninth Circuit takes in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Plesae see the attachment for a complete list of finalists from the Ninth Circuit.