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. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  2. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

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  4. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

  5. Mr. Foltz: Your comment that the ACLU is "one of the most wicked and evil organizations in existence today" clearly shows you have no real understanding of what the ACLU does for Americans. The fact that the state is paying out so much in legal fees to the ACLU is clear evidence the ACLU is doing something right, defending all of us from laws that are unconstitutional. The ACLU is the single largest advocacy group for the US Constitution. Every single citizen of the United States owes some level of debt to the ACLU for defending our rights.

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