ACS Presents: The Second Annual Constitutional Video Contest

The Constitution at the Crossroads: Progress Imperiled?



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The Constitution’s meaning and interpretation is the subject of a heated national debate.  Much of what is being heard, however, is the skewed and result-oriented approach of many conservatives, designed to support their social and political agenda. Adopting the distorted understanding of our founding document advocated by Tea Party leaders and followers of Justice Antonin Scalia’s brand of originalism, misrepresents the long history of this nation, would create a country that looks nothing like the one most Americans desire and take for granted, and runs counter to the values we have embraced for more than two centuries.

Progressives realize that the Constitution’s original text, meaning, and understanding are vital to  its understanding.  But they also know that the Framers understood that the interpretation of the Constitution must reflect the changing needs, conditions, and understandings of society over time.  This is what allows the Constitution to retain its relevance and power, and it is how we preserve both the document’s original meaning and its democratic legitimacy.

The second annual ACS video contest seeks to marshal the creativity of filmmakers, wanna-be filmmakers, and all creative progressives, to generate a short digital video that addresses these issues in the context of the Constitution’s long and evolving tradition of protecting rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy, and the rule of law.


First Prize is $1,500 and free registration for the Tenth Anniversary ACS National Convention in Washington, DC. Second Prize is $250 and free Convention registration.


The deadline for entries is June 10, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.


Videos can be humorous, dramatic, historic, documentary-style, animated, musical, scripted, free-form, or narrated. Creativity is encouraged.

Successful entries will embrace the above contest description (Quick Pitch) and themes in the ACS Mission Statement and Keeping Faith with the Constitution, a book published by the American Constitution Society, a summary of which can be viewed here.  The entire book can be downloaded for free at

To view the winning and runner up videos from last year’s contest, click here.


Videos will be judged on:


The full contest rules are available here.

SUBMISSIONS (for help with submissions, please contact [email protected])

To submit entries:

  1. Contestants must submit their video of four minutes or less online by creating a free account at
  2. Visit ACS’s YouTube page at
  3. Below the video player there will a button that says "Post a Comment." Click on this button and then a text box will appear that says “Respond to this video." Click the link that says “Attach a Video” to the right of the text box.
  4. On the next page, click on “Upload a Video” at the top and follow the onscreen directions to successfully upload your video. 
  5. Please include the title of your video and under Tags enter “ACS Video Contest” (without quotes but with the appropriate spaces). Please note: you CANNOT select “private” for your video share settings. It must be set to public in order for you to properly submit your video. 
  6. Contestants must also submit an online entry form, available here. Contestants will receive a confirmation email.  Online submissions must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 10, 2011.  Contestants may also mail entries to ACSLaw Video Contest, 1333 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. Mail entries should be in the form of a CD or DVD disc, with the video in an accessible file format. Mail entries must include a completed contest entry form and must be postmarked by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on June 10, 2011. Mechanically reproduced entries and faxes are prohibited.
  7. Any questions on submission should be directed to [email protected]