NDNY-FCBA
Constitutional 
Scholars 
Program


SEVENTH ANNUAL
CONSTITUTION CONTEST

OFFERING UP TO $4,500 IN PRIZE MONEY
TO ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN
THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

PROUD TO HAVE AWARDED A TOTAL OF $18,850 IN PRIZE MONEY
 TO 88 STUDENTS FROM 19 HIGH SCHOOLS OVER PAST 6 YEARS  

SubjectThe origin of some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, specifically, one of the six topics listed on this website's Topics page.*

Who Is EligibleAll students in grades 9 through 12 in the 32 counties that constitute the Northern District of New York.* There is no entry fee

Rules: 
    1.    Each student may submit only one entry per category per annual contest. 
    2.    Each entry must be submitted in one of two categories: (a) Video Performance (recitation, argument, song or skit); and (b) Poster (paper or digital).
    3.    All entries must regard one of the six topics listed on the Topics page, and answer all of the questions posed by that topic.
    4.    All entries must be entrant’s original work, cite all ideas and expressions that are not the entrant’s own, and rely only on primary sources (e.g., clauses of the Constitution, Federalist Papers, Anti-Federalist Papers, speeches, letters, Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, etc., some of which are identified on the Topics page).***
    5.    No shared work is allowed.
    6.    All entries must follow the Format, Method of Submission, and Due Date requirements set forth below.

Format
    1.    Video Performances must be shorter than 10 minutes in duration. For a sample video of a one-minute skit, see https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdh5DRLP/.  
    2.    Posters may be of any size and media, including digital images, as long as the content is suitable for reproduction as a two-dimensional poster.
    3.    All entries must somehow expressly identify their topic by number. (See Topics page.) 
    4.    All entries must separately (in an accompanying email or piece of paper) indicate the student's identifying information (full name, home mailing address, telephone number, email address, grade level, and high school if the student is not home schooled). Nowhere else may the entry indicate the student's name (except for Video Performances submitted through TikTok or Instagram Reels). 

Method of Submission: 
    1.    Video Performances must be submitted through a two-step process. First, the video must be uploaded to one of three platforms: (a) JotForm at https://form.jotform.com/92524309727158; (b) TikTok; or (c) Instagram Reels. Second, a link to the video must be then emailed to Michael G. Langan, Esq., at michael_langan@nynd.uscourts.gov.    
    2.    Posters must be submitted one of two ways: (a) as an email attachment in PDF format or JPEG format (although the Program Director may require that the attachment be resubmitted in another electronic format if it cannot be accessed by the judges’ computer systems), or (b) by mail sent to Michael G. Langan, Esq., Chambers of Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, U.S. District Court, 100 South Clinton Street, Syracuse NY 13261.

Due Date: Entries are due by midnight on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 (the end of "Law Month"). No entries will be accepted after midnight. The Program is not responsible for any lost, misdirected or delayed entries. Entries received by fax or personal delivery will not be accepted.

JudgingBy a panel of three or more federal court judges based on a scoring rubric, to be applied by the judges in their sole discretion. The scoring rubric has two parts of equal value: (1) whether the entry’s answers to the questions posed in the topic are thorough and supported by historical sources; and (2) whether the entry's answers to the questions posed in the topic are clear, interesting, and persuasive. All decisions are final. Results will be announced by the end of Saturday, September 17, 2022 ("Constitution Day"). All winning entries become the non-exclusive property of the Program for one year following submission and may be published online and/or in print during that time period.

Prizes: Monetary prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories for entrants winning first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention.  Up to $4,500 in prize money will be awarded (across both categories) in amounts determined in the Program Director's discretion, with the first place winner in each category guaranteed a prize of at least $750.

*     These are the 32 counties that constitute the Northern District of New York: Albany, Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren and Washington.

​**    The Program expresses no opinion about the comparative appropriateness of the available methods of constitutional interpretation (e.g., textualism, structuralism, original meaning, judicial precedent, pragmatism, moral reasoning, etc.).

***    The Program Director retains the discretion to disqualify entries that do not sufficiently regard the origin of some aspect of the U.S. Constitution (specifically, one of the topics listed on the website's Topics page), and/or sufficiently rely on and cite primary sources.