Project Title

Public’s Perception of Legitimacy Regarding the US Supreme Court

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Government and International Affairs

Faculty Sponsor Name

April Johnson

Abstract (300 words maximum)

After the highly political election cycle in 2016, there has been an increase in the number of challenges, promised to the public, regarding the new administration’s policies. But, in the opinion of the public, is the constitutionally established US Supreme Court, where these challenges will be made, the legitimate authority to determine them, or have these institutions become the political puppets the Framers warned us of. To determine this, an experiment was developed to quantify and evaluate this. Using the TAPS group’s 2016 survey about Public Feel, from a US population reflective sample, I developed an index for legitimacy from questions posed by the group, then compared it to results from questions involving the perception of political involvement of the US Supreme Court and basic demographics. The correlation of my index and the perception of political involvement shows a causal relationship between the two variables, at a P < .05 significance level. With the declining legitimacy of the judicial institutions in the public’s opinion, how can these establishments continue to determine challenges in the namesake of the public when they are no longer viewed as legitimate, by the public?

Disciplines

Constitutional Law | Courts | First Amendment | Judges | Law and Politics | Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility | Social Influence and Political Communication | Supreme Court of the United States

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Public’s Perception of Legitimacy Regarding the US Supreme Court

After the highly political election cycle in 2016, there has been an increase in the number of challenges, promised to the public, regarding the new administration’s policies. But, in the opinion of the public, is the constitutionally established US Supreme Court, where these challenges will be made, the legitimate authority to determine them, or have these institutions become the political puppets the Framers warned us of. To determine this, an experiment was developed to quantify and evaluate this. Using the TAPS group’s 2016 survey about Public Feel, from a US population reflective sample, I developed an index for legitimacy from questions posed by the group, then compared it to results from questions involving the perception of political involvement of the US Supreme Court and basic demographics. The correlation of my index and the perception of political involvement shows a causal relationship between the two variables, at a P < .05 significance level. With the declining legitimacy of the judicial institutions in the public’s opinion, how can these establishments continue to determine challenges in the namesake of the public when they are no longer viewed as legitimate, by the public?