News & Announcements


Fourth Circuit 2024 Essay Contest Now Open to Students in Grades 6-12

February 20, 2024

Seventy years ago, the Supreme Court held in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), that racial segregation in public schools violates the United States Constitution. The Court recognized that public education is "the very foundation of good citizenship," and Brown's impact on education and society has been the subject of much discussion and debate in our nation's history.

Has the decision in Brown, viewed through the lens of 2024, achieved its purpose of ensuring equal opportunity in public education?


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 2024 essay contest is now open to all students currently in grades 6 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "Has the decision in Brown, viewed through the lens of 2024, achieved its purpose of ensuring equal opportunity in public education?"

Grades 9-12: Essays are limited to 500-1,000 words, and students have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes: first place, $2,000; second place, $1,500; and third place, $1,000.

Grades 6–8: Essays are limited to 250-500 words, and students have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes: first place, $500; second place, $350; and third place, $200.

Deadline:
Entry form and essay must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Winners will be announced in August, and the winning essays will be presented at the Fourth Circuit's Constitution Day Program in September 2024.

For additional information, questions to consider, and instructions on how to submit your essay, visit www.ca4.uscourts.gov/essay-contest.

For questions, contact the Fourth Circuit Clerk’s Office at essaycontest@ca4.uscourts.gov or (804) 916-2715.

Please note: Prior award winners as well as children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and members of the household of a federal judge or federal judiciary employee are excluded from the competition.