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The Role of the Judiciary in Our Government


Last week, the state of Wisconsin held an election for one of its state Supreme Court positions. The election was widely publicized as the winner would determine the ideological balance of the Court. Additionally, the two judicial candidates ran campaigns similar to what you’d expect to see politicians utilize, further increasing the political polarization of the election. In our system of federalism, states utilize a variety of ways to select judges. In what ways are they similar or different to how federal judges are selected? What are the benefits and challenges each method poses? How might the way that they are selected demonstrate what each state views the role of its judiciary branch to be?



Have students fill out Handout B: Graphic Organizer while reading Handout A and also conducting their own research online.

Lead a class discussion on their graphic organizer questions. Then review the discussion questions below with your students either as a class or in small groups.