The 2000 Presidential Election Controversy

Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy (Persily et al., eds, Oxford Univ. Press 2008)

12 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2014

See all articles by Manoj Mate

Manoj Mate

University of California, Irvine School of Law; Harvard Law School

Matthew Wright

American University; American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: December 1, 2008

Abstract

Previous scholarship on public opinion and the legitimacy of the United States Supreme Court has advanced competing claims about the impact of specific decisions on support for the Court. While some studies have found that specific decisions have strongly affect confidence in the Court, others, including Gibson, Caldeira and Spence, suggest that the empirical data confirms the expectations of Legitimacy theory, which posits that the Court has a relatively strong “reservoir of goodwill” that immunizes it from potentially “legitimacy-threatening” decisions. In this chapter, we analyze data from the 2000 and 2004 Annenberg National Election study to examine the impact of the Bush v. Gore on legitimacy in the Court, using new and different measures of diffuse support or institutional loyalty, and of specific support. While our findings appear to confirm Gibson and his colleagues’ hypotheses and findings generally, with respect to the long-term resilience of the Court, we find that in the short term, the decision did indeed affect the foundations of specific and diffuse support for the Court, as partisanship, race, and ideology both emerge after (but not before) the decision as significant predictors of specific and diffuse support in the Court

Keywords: Bush v. Gore, Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, Public Opinion, 2000 Election, 2000 Presidential Election, Confidence, Legitimacy, Diffuse Support, Specific Support

Suggested Citation

Mate, Manoj and Wright, Matthew, The 2000 Presidential Election Controversy (December 1, 2008). Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy (Persily et al., eds, Oxford Univ. Press 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2456069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2456069

Manoj Mate (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Law 4800R
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

HOME PAGE: http:// https://www.law.uci.edu/faculty/visiting/mate/

Harvard Law School ( email )

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew Wright

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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