The American Public's Assessment of the Rehnquist Court
Judicature, Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 168-176, November-December 2005
9 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2006
This paper examines patterns of public approval and support for the Rehnquist Court over the year's of William Rehnquist's tenure as Chief Justice. The analysis draws on a variety of data series. The results of the analysis show that it is difficult to draw clear or strong conclusions about variations in public approval over time: specific patterns varied from series to series. While there appears to be a pattern of decline in support for the Court over the period of Rehnquist's leadership, it may be part of a broader decline in support for national governmental institutions. In the last years of Rehnquist's service, Republicans tended to have a higher level of support than did Democrats; while one might be inclined to attribute that to the public's reaction to Bush v. Gore, the overall patterns do not support that conclusion.
Keywords: public opinion, Supreme Court, Rehnquist Court
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation