Constitutional Law Scholars Program

The Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics class at Denver East High School won the 2020 State Competition of “We the People…the Citizen and the Constitution.” This April, 33 Denver East Angels will go to Washington to compete in the National competition against the best teams from the other forty-nine states and the District of Columbia. In this highly rigorous, academic competition the students will speak persuasively in a simulated congressional hearing format, directly respond to posited questions, and use philosophical, historical, contemporary, and legal evidence to support their assertions.

Our team will continue to work hard, and we will represent our community and Colorado in the Denver East tradition. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the competitiveness and skill of Angels and our state in a forum that includes the best and brightest students in the nation.

To Donate:

Please make your check payable to: Denver East High School – Constitutional Scholars

Mail to:
Denver East High School
Attn: Mrs. Beth Gower
1600 City Park Esplanade 
Denver, CO  80206

Who can participate in the program?

To join the class, students must choose AP US Government/Politics-con law at choice of studies.  All rostered students in the class must compete and students are only eligible to compete once, per the competition rules.

What does it cost for the team to go to DC and compete?

What are examples of questions asked during the National competition?

“Our fathers believed that if this noble view of the rights of man was to flourish, it must be rooted in democracy. The most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country, in large measure, is the history of the expansion of that right to our people.” How has the right to vote expanded since the ratification of the Constitution?

  • Does a state violate the equal propection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when it disregards neutral redistricting principles to achieve an advantage for one political party? Why or why not?   
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Electoral College to determine the presidency? What alternative, if any, would you suggest? Explain your position.

 *Lyndon Johnson, “President Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise.” LBJ Presidential Library, johnson/speeches-films/president-johnsons-special-message-to-the—congress-the-american-promise.

 Brutus 15 observed that in England, the decisions of the judges were subject to corrections by the House of Lords. However, the American Constitution has no such provision for overruling the decisions of the judicial branch. The powers of the judiciary under the proposed U.S. Constitution “transcends any power before given to a judicial by any free government under heaven.” * How has the power of the judicial branch changed since it was first established? What has helped to bring about this change? Is it too powerful? Explain your answer

  • Is the power of judicial review consistent with democratic principles in a republician form of government? Why or why not?
  • What checks, if any, does Congress have on the judicial branch?

 *Ralph Ketcham, The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates: The clashes and Compromises that Gave birth to Our Government (New York: Penguin, 2003),305. 

In 1875, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the power to set rules surrounding immigration and to manage foreign relations rested with the United States national government rather than with the states. * What criteria, if any, should immigrants be required to meet to enter the United States? 

  • What changes, if any, would you suggest to U.S. immigration policy? Explain your position.
  • Should “sanctuary cities” be forced by the federal government to detain an illegal immigrant if the government does not have a warrant? Why or why not? 

*Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1875)