The Supreme Court in a Polarized Era: Is Legitimacy at Risk?
68 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 6, 2019
We examine the role that mass perceptions of the Supreme Court’s institutional nature—particularly how “political” it is—plays in assessments of its legitimacy. In a series of original studies, we find that policy disagreement with Supreme Court decisions leads individuals to view that decision, and the Court itself, as being political in nature. We then show that the more political people think the Court is, the less legitimate they consider it to be. In this way, we show that policy disagreement with decisions strongly and directly reduces Court legitimacy.
Keywords: Supreme Court, legitimacy, public opinion, polarization
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation