NDNY-FCBA
Constitutional 
Scholars 
Program


FIFTH ANNUAL CONTEST

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

INCLUDING NEW CATEGORIES FOR 
PERFORMANCE VIDEOS, GRAPHIC ART, AND POEMS/SHORT STORIES
(IN ADDITION TO RETURNING CATEGORY FOR ESSAYS)

Subject: The origin of some aspect of the U.S. Constitution: specifically, one of the nineteen (19) topics listed on this website's Topics page.*

Who Is Eligible: All 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 and Format: Entries may be submitted in one of four categories:
    1.    Essays, which must be typed, between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length, and based exclusively on primary sources (e.g., first-hand accounts) that are cited in a recognized system of citation
    2.    Video performances (e,g., a speech, song, or skit/play, etc.), which must be fewer than ten (10) minutes in duration;
    3.    Graphic art (e.g., a drawing, painting, photograph or print), which must be on one piece of material (whatever the size); and 
    4.    Poems/short stories, which must be between 100 and 2,000 words in length.
    5.    No reference to the student's name may appear on the work but must appear on a title page, along with the student's grade level, high school (if the student is not home schooled), home mailing address, telephone number, and any email address.

Due Date: Entries are due by midnight on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. 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.

Method of Submission: 
    1.    Video performances must be submitted on Jotform at the following address: https://form.jotform.com/92524309727158
    2.    All other entries may be submitted only 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 regular U.S. Mail sent to Michael G. Langan, Esq., Chambers of Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, U.S. District Court, 100 South Clinton Street, Syracuse NY 13261.

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 15, 2020. 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 four categories for entrants winning first place, second place, third place, and honorable mention.  A total of $4,500 will be awarded (across all four categories).

*   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.