PLSC 472 The Ohio State University Process for Selecting State Judges Discussion

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For this paper you should synthesize the various materials in this week’s assignment into an evaluation about the process used for selecting state judges. The paper based largely on The Appeal and Caperton v. Massey, should focus how (1)The Appeal informs us about the politics of judicial elections and (2) whether Kennedy’s opinion of the court in the Caperton case or Roberts’ and Scalia’s dissents provide stronger justifications for how courts should address the problem of campaign contributions in judicial elections.

Your paper should draw upon details in The Appeal that shed light on the politics of judicial elections. Don’t just summarize the plot of the novel. Instead, you should focus on how this work of fiction informs us about judicial elections, particularly the tactics and strategies used to defeat the incumbent, Sheila McCarthy. Consider, for example, why she’s so vulnerable to the campaign mounted against her, and why voters seem so susceptible to these tactics and strategies. To do this effectively you should draw upon the various materials posted on the Canvas course site related to this assignment, such as the judicial election campaign videos which allow you to compare, for example, actual campaign ads with the fictional ones described in Grisham’s novel. The document posted about The Appeal in the assignment materials also identifies several themes in the novel that you can incorporate in your paper. such as how public polls can be constructed, and manipulated, to attack a candidate.

You should also use the assigned reading in the Carp textbook to construct a context for evaluating the issues raised in The Appeal. This assigned reading discusses alternative methods for selecting state judges, and especially problems with judicial elections. Details from The Appeal illustrating these points should be included in your paper. The final section of your paper should evaluate whether, based on the assigned materials, elections are an appropriate method for selecting state judges or whether one of the alternative methods used in various states would be a better method. These issues are addressed in the assigned reading in the Carp text book.

A well written paper should integrate these various assignment materials from Lesson 4, such as ideas about judicial elections found in the Carp text book and those in the page that’s posted about civil litigation and judicial elections that relate to The Appeal.

The paper, prepared as a Word document, should be between five and eight pages, double spaced with about 300 words per page and thus between 1500 and 2400 words not including any prefatory material (name, class, etc.) or footnotes and references. Before writing your paper you should reading the item called Writing Hints that’s posted on the course site. It provides some general suggestions about how to prepare papers for the course.

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