News & Announcements

Fourth Circuit Sponsors 2019 High School Essay Contest

January 28, 2019


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is seeking submissions for its 2019 essay contest. 

Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: “How has the right to freedom of speech established for public school students in the Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines evolved in the 50 years since it was decided?”

The contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Essays are limited to 1,000 words and must be submitted by April 15, 2019.

Students have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes: first place, $2,000; second place, $1,500; and third place, $1,000. 

Winners will be announced in July, and travel will be provided to the court’s Constitution Day event in September 2019.

For additional information and instructions on how to submit an essay, visit

For questions, contact the Fourth Circuit Clerk’s Office at or (804) 916-2706.

Please note: Children, grandchildren, stepchildren, or members of the household of a federal judge or federal judiciary employee are excluded from the competition.