Evaluating Diffuse Support for State High Courts Among Individuals with Varying Levels of Policy Agreement
Cann, Damon M. and Jeff Yates. 2021. "Evaluating Diffuse Support for State High Courts Among Individuals with Varying Levels of Policy Agreement. Social Science Quarterly 102(6):2824-2835.
32 Pages Posted: 23 May 2022
Date Written: 2021
Courts are unusually vulnerable governing institutions that rely upon deeply seated public support and notions of institutional legitimacy to flourish and remain policy relevant. This diffuse support allows courts to be viable policy entities while simultaneously issuing edicts that are counter-majoritarian. A recent debate centers on whether policy disagreement affects members of the public’s diffuse support stores for the nation’s High Court. Here, we investigate whether policy disagreement between citizens and their state courts influences public perceptions of state court legitimacy (diffuse support). We also examine how those who disagree with state court policy-making (policy “losers”) assay the legitimacy of their state courts differently than those who feel that their policy preferences are promoted by state courts (policy “winners”). We find that policy agreement is quite relevant to citizens’ levels of diffuse support for their state courts and that the relative drivers of policy “winners” and “losers” assessments of their courts’ legitimacy do evince overlap but in important ways are distinct.
Keywords: legitimacy, policy agreement state courts
JEL Classification: H70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation