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Fourth Circuit High School Essay Contest - 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment (Deadline Extended to June 1)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, extending the right to vote to women and expanding on the principle of equality.


The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is inviting high school students to consider and share their thoughts on the questions:

“What barriers remain today in exercising the right to vote?  What changes, if any, would you make the protect or expand voting rights?” 

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 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2020. (Updated deadline)

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 Essay Awards Program in September 2020. 

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.