2024 Annual Civics Essay Contest - Chattanooga Division & FBA, Chattanooga Chapter

Should social media platforms have a right to restrict political speech?

Social media has revolutionized how we access news and information. Unlike newspapers or TV broadcasts, social media platforms do not usually create content - they host content created by users. But social media platforms also "moderate" user content. They prioritize or deprioritize posts, remove content that violates community standards, and restrict or ban users who violate those standards.

The Supreme Court will soon consider the constitutionality of controversial laws in Texas and Florida that would regulate how large social media companies like Facebook, TikTok, and X (formerly known as Twitter) control content posted on their sites. The Court is likely to address whether social media platforms have the right to restrict political speech and if so, to what extent.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Chattanooga Division, and the Chattanooga Chapter of the Federal Bar Association invite local middle school and high school students to share their thoughts on this issue in the 6th Annual Civics Essay Contest. Three high school students and three middle school students will win the following prizes:

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $250
  • Third Place: $100
  • Submission deadline: March 29, 2024

    Click Here for More Information

    The Supreme Court in my Hometown - A Summer Program for Greater Chattanooga Area High School Students

    Investigate the historic Ed Johnson v. Tennessee case and
    Supreme Court case U.S. v. Shipp.

    Click here for more information or to apply

    2023-2024 Civics Bowls

    The Civics and Outreach Committee is excited to offer a Civics Bowl event for high school students!

    The Court's newest civics program gives students a chance to develop their knowledge of civics and government with an in-class quiz show conducted by local judges and attorneys.

    How It Works

    Teachers receive questions for their students in advance of the quiz show. The questions parallel those in the naturalization exam.

    The quiz bowl program is also available to student organizations, home school groups, and other educational organizations for high school students.

    Find Out More

    We would love to talk with you about our new program! If you have any questions, please contact Judge Shelley Rucker's courtroom deputy Tanya English at (423) 752-5104 or Chattanooga Division Manager Russell Eslinger at (423) 752-5200.

    If you're ready to schedule a Civics Bowl for your class or organization, please click the link below to get started.

    Civics Bowl Request Form

    We look forward to hearing from you and working with you and your students to improve civics understanding in our community!

    Teachers Law School

    Previous Event Photos...

    Comments from teachers:
    "Awesome experience! I will definitely be sharing and utilizing your expertise in the classroom."
    "What an amazing day! Thank you so much for this opportunity."
    "Very enjoyable and productive day to take back to my students."

    The Eastern District of Tennessee Civics and Outreach Committee is pleased to host Teachers Law Schools presented by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Foundation in coordination with local chapters of the Federal Bar Association.

    Middle and high school teachers are afforded the unique opportunity to hear from local federal judges, law professors, and prominent attorneys about he role and function of the federal judiciary in the American democracy through the Teachers Law Schools.

    Teachers are equipped with a much better understanding of the third branch of government and are provided with teaching tools to assist in educating students about civics and law-related topics. This will help students better understand and appreciate the value, relevance and impact of the Constitution, our system of government and citizenship.

    Selected teachers get a unique opportunity to not only hear from local federal judges and prominent attorneys but also the opportunity to engage in in depth and substantive discussions regarding the law, the American judicial system, practical realities of the civil and criminal law procedures and systems, and current challenges.

    Teachers Law Schools have been held in Chattanooga and Greeneville. The next one is scheduled for Knoxville. The Committee plans to hold at least one Teachers Law School in the district each year.


    The Eastern District of Tennessee hosts several naturalization ceremonies throughout the year. Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Naturalization Ceremonies

    Mock Trials

    Please check back. We will be posting Mock Trial information soon.