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Portland teams top the nation in constitutional law competition, again

Lincoln High School won its sixth first place; Grant High School earned third

COURTESY PHOTO: ANDIE PETKUS - The Lincoln High School We the People team with advisor Jason Trombley after their state competition win. The team won nationals on Tuesday, April 26. Lincoln High School has again topped the nation in the We The People competition of the Classroom Law Project.

This is the fifth year that Oregon teams have won top honors in the College Park, Maryland, competition. This year, the Grant High School team also competed at the national tournament and came in third.

The Lincoln team has finished first place six times in the competition’s 29-year history; the Grant team has finished first twice.

“Presidential candidates could learn a thing or two from these talented students! With young people like these, we know the future will be in good hands,” CLP Program Director Barbara Rost said of the Oregon students in a news release.

The teams also received praise from the people doing the jobs they were simulating: their congressional representatives.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer met with the teams ahead of the competition and answered questions on democracy and partisanship.

“I wish we could have all of them on the floor of this House to elevate the discussion and deliberation, and I think they’d add, frankly, to the decision making," Blumenauer said. "But until their time will come, and it can’t come soon enough, we celebrate five consecutive national championships for two public high schools in Portland, Oregon. Congratulations, Lincoln Cardinals on your championship, and Grant High School for finishing third.”

The state's U.S. Senators also praised the teams.

The competitors study civics and constitutional law as part of the We the People curriculum available for elementary through high school level. During the competition, which is in the form of simulated congressional hearings, students testify as constitutional experts. Judges are empaneled in congressional-type committees, pressing the students on their knowledge of the constitution, political history and current events.