There may be a some future attorneys, judges, members or congress or even a Supreme Court justice walking the halls at Nixa High School.
Nixa High School students Susan Hardy, Sailor Powley, Brock Manasseri, Emma Beadle, Amarra Fusco, Isaiah Holgerson, Eshan Jain, Edward Eiche and Will Rouhani won the 2020 ShowMe the Constitution competition against students from the rest of the state of Missouri.
The competition is a mock-congressional hearing sponsored by the Missouri Bar Young Lawyers' Section and the Missouri Bar's Citizenship Education program. Students had to prepare a five-minute opening statement that addressed one of three challenging and legally-complex issues, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session with lawyers, scholars, government officials and a Missouri Supreme Court judge.
Beyond delivering well-researched written statements that included historical and current events, as well as references to past and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Nixa’s team had to navigate competing on a virtual stage. The students managed Zoom and a spotty wifi internet connection and still won.
Do you think you could handle a constitution competition? Here are the questions that the champions from Nixa had to face.
Question 1 - Susan Hardy, Brock Manasseri and Sailor Powley
Given the extent of gun violence within the United States in the 21st Century and the continuing controversy that swirls around it, has the Second Amendment become an anachronism, due for a constitutional revision? Why or why not?
What does the Second Amendment’s protection of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” mean? How is this question addressed in Federalist No. 29 and 46? Do you believe that in the 21st Century we should continue to follow the guidance provided by the 18th Century writings of Hamilton and Madison? Why or why not?
Have changes in the nature of weaponry and professional law enforcement, as well as the creation of a standing army and national guard units within each state negated the necessity of extending constitutional protection to private gun ownership? Why or Why or why not?
Question 2 - Emma Beadle, Amarra Fusco and Isaiah Holgerson
In 2020, federal law enforcement officers were dispatched to American cities to deal with protesters in the wake of the death of George Floyd, despite the opposition of the mayors of these cities. Was the action taken by the federal government consistent with the terms of the Insurrection Act of 1807. Why or why not?
Some constitutional scholars argue, “It is time to revise the Insurrection Act of 1807 to identify specific checks on federal and presidential authority and align with the state police powers under the 10th Amendment.” Would you support this action? Explain.
Were the actions of these federal law enforcement officers consistent with the constitutional protections embodied in the First and Fourth Amendments? Explain.
Question 3 - Eshan Jain, Edward Eiche, Will Rouhani and Emma Beadle
Recently, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Explain the basis for the majority’s decision. How do you feel this ruling will impact employers and employees? Explain.
Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent that while protection of homosexuals from employment discrimination was laudable, it was for Congress, and not the Supreme Court, to expand this protection. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
Would you support legislation or a constitutional amendment forbidding governmental discrimination, as well as private acts of discrimination, based upon race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation? Why or why not?