The Hon Sam Robinson Job of A Judge & the Job of An Elected Official Discussion

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You should now be familiar with how appointed judges compare to elected officials and the role of judicial review in the U.S. government. A middle school civics class is studying the role of judges, and the teacher has enlisted your help! Use the information you’ve learned in the lesson and the profiles below to write an interview script with a judge that will help middle school students understand the important job judges do.

  1. Select a judge to “interview” from one of these Profiles

The Honorable Sam Robinson

  • Justice on a state supreme court
  • Appointed by a Republican governor
  • Has been a judge for 13 years
  • Married with three children
  • Recent case–ruled that a city noise ordinance did not violate the right of free expression protected by the state constitution and Bill of Rights. Officers stopped and cited a driver for playing music too loudly from a vehicle. No other traffic violations were noted in the incident.

The Honorable Ramona Salvarez

  • Federal circuit judge
  • Appointed by a Democratic president
  • Has been a judge for 19 years
  • Divorced with two children
  • Recent case–ruled that a social media website analyzing its users’ profile information to improve its service violated consumer privacy rights. A group of citizens from one state brought a class action suit against the social media company, which is based in another state. The company maintains that the use of data was agreed to at the time that any user creates an account to use their website. It also argues that this is a legitimate action that helps the company improve their site for its users. The petitioners argue that the use of data marked “private,” including pictures and text posts, violates their right of protection against illegal search and seizure.

The Honorable Chet Wilkins

  • Judge in a U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Appointed by a Republican president
  • Has been a judge for nine years
  • Single and no children
  • Recent case–ruled that the district court’s ruling should stand in a case that convicted and sentenced a person accused of stealing and using people’s credit cards from and in different states. The convicted thief appealed the sentence of 20 years in federal prison as extreme punishment in violation of the Bill of Rights.

Imagine yourself as the judge you read about in the profile. From his or her perspective, compose thorough answers in complete sentences to the following prompts:

  • How is your role in government different from an elected official?
  • How is it the same?
  • Do you think judges should be elected? Explain why or why not.
  • Explain the meaning and process of judicial review.
  • Please explain the role of judicial review in a case you recently decided.
  • Please explain how you arrived at your decision, including different factors that affected it.




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