NDNY-FCBA
Constitutional 
Scholars 
Program


SIXTH ANNUAL CONTEST

OPEN TO ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN THE 32 COUNTIES 
THAT CONSTITUTE THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

OFFERING A TOTAL OF $4,500 IN PRIZE MONEY IN CATEGORIES FOR 
ESSAYS, ARTISTIC WORKS AND PERFORMANCE VIDEOS

($14,350 IN PRIZE MONEY AWARDED TO 
56 STUDENTS FROM 19 HIGH SCHOOLS OVER PAST 5 YEARS)  

SubjectThe origin of some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, specifically, one of the nine 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 (i.e., 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). There is no entry fee. But each student may submit only one entry (across all categories) per annual contest.

Categories: Entries may be submitted in one of three categories:
    1.    Essays; 
    2.    Artistic Works (i.e., poems, short stories and graphic art); or 
    3.    Video Performances (e.g., recitations, speeches, songs and skits).

Format
    1.    Essays must be typed and between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. 
    2.    Artistic Workspoems and short stories must be between 250 and 2,000 words in length, and graphic art (e.g., drawings, paintings, photographs or prints) must be on one piece of material, whatever the size.
    3.    Video Performances must be shorter than 10 minutes in duration, and must be from memory (e.g., without reading from notes).
    4.    All entries must be introduced by a cover page or email that lists the student's full name, grade level, high school (if the student is not home schooled), home mailing address, telephone number, and any email address. Nowhere else may the entry indicate the student's name (except for Video Performances submitted through TikTok or Instagram Reels.) 
    5.    All entries must expressly identify their topic by number.
​    6.    All entries must 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., many of which are identified on the Topics page).

Method of Submission: 
    1.    Video Performances must be submitted one of two ways: (a) through JotForm at https://form.jotform.com/92524309727158; or (b) through either TikTok or Instagram Reels as long as a link is emailed to Michael G. Langan, Esq., at director@constitutionalscholars.org. For a sample TikTok video, see https://vm.tiktok.com/XLqcV7/.    
    2.    Graphic art must be submitted one of two ways: (a) as an email attachment (although the Program Director may require that the attachment be resubmitted in another electronic format if it cannot easily 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.
    3.    All other entries must be submitted one of two ways: (a) as an email attachment in Word, WordPerfect or PDF format (no Google Docs or Mac Pages), sent to Michael G. Langan, Esq., at director@constitutionalscholars.org, 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 Wednesday, March 31, 2021. 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 five parts of equal value: (1) whether the entry's main point is original and/or interesting; (2) whether the entry is clear in terms of message and organization/composition; (3) whether the entry is supported by, and/or accurate in light of, historical sources; (4) whether the entry is thorough in its analysis and/or treatment of the subject; and (5) whether the entry is persuasive. All decisions are final.  Results will be announced by the end of Friday, June 25, 2021. 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 three categories for entrants winning first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention.  A total of $4,500 will be awarded (across all three 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.

*   The Program expresses no opinion about the appropriateness of the "original intent," "original understanding" and/or "original meaning" methods of constitutional interpretation as compared to other such methods, including the "living constitution," "evolving constitution" and/or "judicial/principled pragmatism" methods. The Director of the Program 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.