Deliberating in a Democracy Judicial Elections

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Kate McBride

Engage students in a Structured Academic Controversy in this lesson that focuses on developing deliberation skills using a proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would change the way Minnesota judges are elected. This lesson, from the Deliberating in a Democracy Minnesota (DIDMN) project, teaches deliberation skills that ensure that conflicting views can be heard, understood, and valued. Students will develop the ability to find solutions to important issues. Lesson includes a student reading on the pros and cons of judicial elections for increasing understanding of the issue. This is democracy in action!


  • Students will learn the process of deliberation
  • Students will increase understanding of the tensions concerning the way in which judges are elected and the impartiality of judicial elections and the first amendment
  • Students will practice skills for democracy

Time to Complete

One class period

Materials Needed


See Deliberating in a Democracy Steps and Steps Video



This lesson plan was developed as part of a curriculum-development workshop that was sponsored by the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society, with the assistance of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Minnesota State Bar Association Civic Education Committee, and the Learning Law and Democracy Foundation. Lesson development was supported in part with funds from the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


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