4 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 16, 2012
Historically, our understanding of how the public perceives the Supreme Court and its decisions has been somewhat generalized. Polling firms conduct surveys on a semi-regular basis about a few common questions: do people view the Supreme Court favorably, do they think the Court is too conservative or too liberal, what do they think about certain hot-button issues like abortion or affirmative action, and do they support or oppose a recent controversial decision (such as Bush v. Gore or Citizens United v. FEC). While these surveys allow researchers to discern broad trends in how the Supreme Court is perceived, the data are somewhat unhelpful to break down public perception of a particular case with specificity.
However, the attention surrounding NFIB v. Sebelius, commonly known as The Health Care Cases, is quite unprecedented in this regard. The data analyzing popular opinion about this case is voluminous, and presents a treasure trove for a quantitative analysis. Our article aggregates all of the polls, surveys, and prediction market data about the case to compile a detailed empirical analysis of how key demographics of the American populace viewed the challenge to Affordable Care Act from early 2010, when the challenges began until June 2012, when the case was decided, and beyond.
Keywords: Supreme Court, NFIB v. Sebelius, the health care cases, empirical legal studies, the will of the people, health care
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