The United States Constitution has three main functions. It creates a national government consisting of three branches—executive, legislative, and judicial. It divides governmental powers between the federal government and the states. It also protects individual liberties from the government.
Since the Constitution was ratified in 1789, more than 12,000 amendments have been proposed and many remain pending as partially approved. Only 27 amendments have been successfully ratified and incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. For example: The First Amendment (1791) protects the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment also prevents the government from favoring one religion over another. The 13th Amendment (1865) abolished slavery. The 19th Amendment (1920) guaranteed women the right to vote. Other amendments were proposed but have not been ratified, including banning flag burning, guaranteeing equal rights regardless of sex, electing the president by popular vote, curbing climate change, and guaranteeing the right to privacy.
The 2023 District of Idaho/Ninth Circuit Civics Contest asks students to answer the following questions: What amendment would you propose for our Constitution? Why? How would you get your amendment ratified?
Individual students can express their thoughts and ideas in an essay of between 500 and 1,000 words. Individuals or teams of up to three students can produce a 3-5 minute video on the theme. A student may submit both an essay and a video, but only one of each.
Please review the 2023 Civics Contest Flyer and 2023 and 2023 Civics Contest Rules for more information. Submissions will be accepted from January 4, 2023, to March 13, 2023.