Electing State Judges/Justices

Discussion Board:  Electing State Judges/Justices

As you know in the US Constitution, the Framers tried diligently to protect all federal judges and Justices from the influences of politics and to give them the independence to rule according to law, not public opinion.  These judges and Justices are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate–they are NOT elected.

However in many states, including Californiastate judges and State Supreme Court Justices are elected by voters.  These women and men are not appointed by the President or approved by the Senate.  These women and men run political campaigns in the same way that all political candidates run campaigns for office.

In this discussion board,you will need to watch a  video (see link below at bottom). The video is about 56 minutes in length BUT YOU ONLY NEED TO WATCH  21 MINUTES.     START AT 1:15 MINUTES AND STOP AT ABOUT 23:00 MINUTES.  Of course you may watch the whole video, but the first 21 minutes or so will give you enough information to answer the discussion question intelligently.

The video is a panel discussion at Columbia University with some prestigious people on the panel.  Antonin Scalia (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Sandra Day O’Conner (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), D’Army Bailey (Federal Appeals Court Judge), Barney Frank (Member of House of Representatives), Andrew Napolitano (State Superior Court Judge), and others.  It is an upbeat discussion.  In many sections you will see these people speak as though they were sitting across from you in a very relaxed setting–joking back and forth. The discussion revolves around a HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION in which one of the panel members pretends he is running for a State Supreme Court seat in a hypothetical state called, “CENTRALIA”.  The discussion revolves around whether or not electing judges is a good or bad idea.


1.  Use this phrase as the first sentence of your post.

“State judges and Justices should  (BE) or (NOT BE) elected. ”

Then in a post of 100-250 words, explain why you believe as you do.

2.  Respond to one other student’s post.  (You must post yours before you are able to respond to another student’s post.)   In your response, explain clearly why you agree or disagree.

3.  Be sure to look at the rubric before you post your response.  There is heavy weight  placed on correct grammar and accurate facts in the rubric.  First sentence on-topic, accurate facts & details, conclusion and correct spelling/grammar.

4.  Link to video is below (at the bottom of this page).