July 30, 2020

Judicial Independence

Qualities of Judges

Students brainstorm qualities that judges might possess, then discuss why those qualities are important.

What Makes a Good Judge?

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.

Will the Court Hear this Case?

This lesson helps students understand that the U.S. Supreme Court's jurisdiction is limited.