Conversation starter using a political cartoon, which compares the public's interest in judicial nominations with contestants on the television show "American Idol."
This lesson focuses on the costs and benefits of various judicial selection methods. Students will list characteristics they think essential or valuable to being a good judge, and then see which system of judicial selection – appointment, merit, or election – obtains the highest quality judges. In discussing each method, students will understand the tradeoffs between accountability and independence in judicial selection.
This lesson helps students understand that the U.S. Supreme Court's jurisdiction is limited.