Poll shows what Americans think of U.S. Supreme Court

September 23, 2010
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We’ve had two United States Supreme Court justices confirmed recently, but more than 40 percent of Americans say they aren’t knowledgeable about how justices are confirmed.

And of those who are knowledgeable, the majority is made up of older men.

The Harris Interactive poll – in which 2,775 adults were surveyed online in August on the Supreme Court – also shows that more than 80 percent believe the nominees should be required to answer questions on specific issues; 63 percent think they should answer how they would vote in specific court cases, both past and hypothetical; and a little more than half want nominees to answer questions about their personal lives.

Older Americans and Republicans are more likely to want nominees to answer these questions during the confirmation process.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said the high court is a crucial governing body for the success of the nation, but they varied on the type of justices they’d like to see on the bench. Half want someone who keeps their personal opinions of “right” and “wrong” to themselves and makes decisions based on the letter of the law and the Constitution; 32 percent want an independent thinker who takes modern circumstances into account; and 6 percent said they want someone who uses their own values to guide their decisions. Eleven percent weren’t sure what type of person they’d want on the court.

Are we as a public just uninterested in what happens in our nation’s highest court because it’s so far removed from our daily lives we don’t think about it? You don’t see highlights of arguments on the nightly news and the justices don’t often speak to the media. Local media rarely covers Supreme Court rulings, nationally or locally. Network news, which is more likely to cover the Supreme Court, has seen a decline in viewers. Plus, mostly older people watch network news. That may account for the discrepancy in younger people knowing about the confirmation process.

Could this lack of exposure be the problem or do we just not care?

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  1. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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