The federal district court in Idaho and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals are sponsoring a civics contest for high school students on the theme: “Not to Be Forgotten: Legal Lessons of the Japanese Internment.”
The contest explores an infamous period in American history following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In response to the attacks, President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order that led to American citizens and others of Japanese descent being held in camps. Most of the camps were in the western United States, including the Minidoka Wartime Relocation Center, now a national monument, outside of Jerome and near Twin Falls in southern Idaho.
Students can compete by submitting an essay (500 to 1,000 words) and/or being part of a team (of not more than three students) and submitting a 3- to 5-minute video.
The essay or video should consider and describe the relevance of the constitutional issues at play in the Japanese internment cases to our contemporary society as our nation combats terrorism. Students must examine and consider the facts of the cases, explain the constitutional powers and rights that were in conflict in those cases and discuss the role of the judicial branch in resolving constitutional conflicts involving national security and individual rights.
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Entries will be accepted beginning Feb. 1. The deadline to submit is April 16.
The contest is open to all high school students, including home-schooled students of equivalent grade status in Idaho. Students at private, charter and parochial schools are also encouraged to enter.
Students should submit their entries online: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/civicscontest/
The Idaho contest winners will receive prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. Each first-place winner from Idaho, along with the winners of the other district courts within the Ninth Circuit, will be entered into the Ninth Circuit competition. The winners of the circuit-wide competition will receive cash prizes of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.
The first-place winner (or winners) of the contest also will receive travel and accommodations to attend the 2017 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference in San Francisco.