News & Announcements


Fourth Circuit High School Essay Contest - Deadline Extended to June 15

May 31, 2022

Fifty years ago, on March 22, 1972, Congress sent the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the states for ratification, but only 35 of the 38 required states voted to ratify by the deadline.

Is the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause sufficient to secure the rights of all citizens, or is the ERA necessary to promote gender equality?


The deadline for the 2022 High School Essay Contest sponsored by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has been extended to June 15, 2022.

Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "Is the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause sufficient to secure the rights of all citizens, or is the ERA necessary to promote gender equality?

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 Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

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 August, and the winning essays will be presented at the court's Essay Awards Program in September 2022.

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

For questions, contact the Fourth Circuit Clerk’s Office at essaycontest@ca4.uscourts.gov or (804) 916-2706.

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.