Court Announces 6th Annual Civics Essay Contest

  • Friday, February 23, 2024

High school and middle school students in 17 area counties are invited to participate in the annual civics essay contest sponsored by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Chattanooga Division, and the Chattanooga Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

The prompt for this year’s contest is a question that may soon be addressed by the Supreme Court: Should social media platforms have the right to restrict political speech? Students are invited to share their views on whether social media platforms have right to engage in content moderation under the First Amendment, or if this content moderation is actually censorship.

The contest is open to public, private, and home school students in 6th to 12th grade in the following counties: Bedford, Bledsoe, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Lincoln, McMinn, Marion, Meigs, Moore, Polk, Rhea, Sequatchie, Warren, and Van Buren. 

Entries for the contest must be postmarked or emailed by March 29. Email submissions should be sent to Entries can also be mailed to Civics Essay Contest, Attn: Kelly L. Walsh, U.S. Courthouse, 900 Georgia Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37402. All entries must include a physically or electronically signed submission form.

Three high school winners and three middle school winners will be selected. Prizes are $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd Place, and $100 for 3rd place. Winners will be announced mid-April. Along with their parents and teachers, winning students will be invited to a reception at the Courthouse with members of the selection committee.

Full essay prompt, requirements, and additional materials are available on the Court’s website, as well as information on the national contest:

For questions, please contact Kelly L. Walsh at 386-3523 or via email to

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