Poll offers insight into Americans' perceptions of SCOTUS

June 14, 2012
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A recent poll shows that 44 percent of Americans approve of the way the Supreme Court of the United States is handling its job. What’s also telling is how many people responded that they don’t know.

The majority of people polled between May 31 and June 3 for a New York Times/CBS News poll  said the country is on the wrong track and disapprove of the job Congress is doing. In each of those areas, 6 percent and 9 percent respectively either didn’t answer the question or didn’t know the answer.

When it came to approving or disapproving of the job the Supreme Court justices are doing, 20 percent didn’t know the answer or said it’s not applicable. A fifth of the people answering didn’t have the ability to answer that question. I interpret that as they have no idea what is going on with our Supreme Court, despite the news that it generates when high-profile cases like the health care law and Arizona immigration challenges are heard.

Perhaps allowing cameras into the courtroom would change that, but that’s a topic for another day.

According to the NYT, public approval of the nation’s highest court has gone down through the years – in the 1980s it was as high as 66 percent; in 2000, approval was around 50 percent. I wonder if they had decided Bush v. Gore yet when the poll was conducted.

Even though 20 percent couldn’t say they approve or disapprove of the Supreme Court’s job, only eight percent didn’t know or couldn’t answer the question as to whether the current justices decide their cases based on legal analysis alone or if they sometimes consider their personal views. Three-fourths of respondents believe the justices sometimes are influenced by their personal and political views.

Another interesting point – 60 percent think it’s a bad thing that justices have lifetime appointments. Only 33 percent support lifetime appointments.
 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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