Caty Armstrong Memorial Law Day essay contest


“American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters” was the topic of the annual Caty Armstrong Memorial Law Day essay contest sponsored by the Toledo Bar Association and The Blade.

First-place winners, whose essays appear today, received $250 checks from the bar association and plaques from The Blade.

Second and third-place winners received $175 and $100 checks, respectively.

This year’s winners are Samuel Zack, Northview High School, Division I (grades 11 and 12); Donovan DeMilt, Ottawa Hills High School, Division II (grades 9 and 10), and Claire Kohler, West Side Montessori, Division III (grades 7 and 8).

Samuel’s teacher is Brienne Laskey, Donovan’s teacher is James Kinkaid, and Claire’s teacher is Mary Brandon.

Second and third-place winners are:

Division I: Manasa Rao, Northview High School, second; Veronica Sohasky, Northview High School, third.

Division II: Alice Koeninger, Notre Dame Academy, second; Nick Drown, Maumee High School, third.

Division III: Libby Stupica, West Side Montessori, second; Madalyn Vesoulis, West Side Montessori, third.

Awards will be presented Thursday at the Law Day luncheon at the Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Toledo.

Daniel Tokaji, a professor at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, is to speak at the event.

The contest is named for the late Caty Armstrong. A student at Sylvania Southview High School and an award winner in the 1993 essay contest, she died in an auto accident that year.

ID laws disenfranchise voters

Since the framers of the U.S. Constitution convened 200 years ago, citizens’ right to vote has been held sacrosanct as a cornerstone of democracy.

Lately, there have been disputes over whether voter identification should be required in order to vote.

Some states, such as Texas and North Carolina, have instituted such laws to allegedly limit voter fraud. These laws, proponents argue, would maintain the integrity of elections.

However, they have been criticized for disenfranchising racial minorities, the elderly, and the poor. READ MORE.


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Suffragettes and civil rights advocates fought to have access to the ballot box. The promise of the Constitution — that every person has a voice in choosing his or her government — must be guaranteed to all.

However, today we face new problems that are limiting many people’s ability to vote. Photo identification is one such problem, and it should not be required, because it is discriminatory. READ MORE.


Discrimination: A socio-economic crisis

Throughout our country, voter discrimination is an issue that causes some citizens to miss out on a freedom that makes America what it is today.

This hot topic has people all over the country questioning whether voter discrimination is present, and if it is, how to fix it.

Although voter discrimination is a problem, photo identification should still be required in order to cast a ballot. READ MORE.