Although the program is not as robust as in years past, We the People, a yearly constitutional law competition, still attracted 55 students, including 13 from Jefferson City High School, to the Capitol on Monday.
Sponsored by the Missouri Bar Association, the competition is styled as a congressional hearing; each team is divided into six units composed of three or more students.
Working as a team, the students prepare and read four-minute speeches, followed by a brief question-and-answer session from a panel of "judges," typically derived from the state's legal community.
The students addressed questions such as: "Why did the framers set up the Constitution in a way that doesn't enumerate the powers of the presidency in the same way it does for Congress?" and "How did the South justify leaving the Union prior to the Civil War?" and "How does a jury check the powers of government?"
A three-member team of JCHS students were asked to expound on the weaknesses and strengths of the modern presidency.