Community Outreach

The Southern District of California has long recognized the importance of community outreach and to that end has implemented a variety of programs designed to educate the community on the role of the federal court and to foster a spirit of trust in the justness of decisions made by our judges.

"I think the biggest challenge we face today in our judicial government
is the lack of understanding of the public role of courts in our country"
- Sandra Day O'Connor

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2024 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest

2024 marks the 70th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s 1954 landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. In Brown, a unanimous Supreme Court held that racial segregation in public school is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court struck down the “separate by equal” doctrine that it had adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case that addressed whether states could legally require railroad companies to provide equal but separate accommodations for passengers of different races. Brown v. Board of Education is widely accepted as one of the most momentous Supreme Court decisions, but views differ regrading what impact it has had on the law and our society. Students are asked to discuss what impact Brown has had and why. Did Brown influence changes in the law or in society, beyond the decision in that case, or were any changes that happened after Brown inevitable? Did Brown affect the way that Americans view the Supreme Court, or affect how the Supreme Court conducts itself? Should the Supreme Court consider how its decision on a particular subject impacts society or how the decision is viewed by the public?

Students may submit an essay or video or both beginning January 8th, 2024. Deadline for entries is March 9, 2024. The winners of the Southern District of California contest will have their essays or video’s submitted to the circuit-wide contest, as well as wining the following prizes:

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • 2nd Place: $500
  • 3rd Place: $250

All students who participate will be invited to attend a reception held at the Judith N. Keep and James M. Carter United States Federal Courthouse, where the submissions and winners will be recognized.

Click here for contest rules and details