Public Perceptions of the Lower Federal Courts
Sara C. Benesh
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Georgia State University
Wellesley College - Political Science
August 3, 2009
The lower federal courts decide cases every day that are essential to a democracy and yet, lower federal court judges are not accountable to the people nor are their decisions often reversed (or even reviewed) by the U.S. Supreme Court. Their decisions are not self-implementing. Hence, our confidence in these local federal courts -- to make the right decisions and to decide cases fairly -- is essential to upholding the rule of law. But, we know little about levels of confidence in these courts or knowledge about these courts. This article seeks to inform on both of those points via use of a national randomly generated survey.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: public opinion, lower federal courts, confidence, diffuse support, Supreme Courtworking papers series
Date posted: August 8, 2009
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