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Homegrown Institutional Legitimacy: Assessing Citizens' Diffuse Support for their State Courts

42 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2005  

Jeff Yates

Binghamton University - Department of Political Science

Damon M. Cann

Utah State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 4, 2006

Abstract

In the years following the United States Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, the public's support for the judicial system looms as an especially important concern. While studies have confirmed that the Supreme Court's reservoir of public good will has remained largely intact following the politically divisive decision, the status of public support for other American courts has received little attention. This reflects a broader trend in judicial politics scholarship toward placing inordinate attention on explaining public support for the U.S. Supreme Court, while largely ignoring the courts where most of the policy-making in the nation occurs - state courts. We use 2001 survey data from a nationwide sample to assess the factors influencing diffuse citizen support for state courts. We find that many of the considerations affecting diffuse support for state courts parallel the determinants of such support for the nation's high Court. However, we also find important differences between explanations of citizen support for state courts and the Supreme Court.

Keywords: bush, gore, legitimacy, support, courts, supreme, state, campaign, judicial, politics, economics, empirical, quantitative, regression, public, support, survey, diffuse, opinion

Suggested Citation

Yates, Jeff and Cann, Damon M., Homegrown Institutional Legitimacy: Assessing Citizens' Diffuse Support for their State Courts (May 4, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=870592 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.870592

Jeff L. Yates (Contact Author)

Binghamton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Binghamton, NY 13902
United States

Damon M. Cann

Utah State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

0725 University Blvd.
Logan, UT 84322-0725
United States

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