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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

6 - Partisan Polarization and Support for Court-Curbing

Summary

Chapter 6 examines how partisan polarization reduces citizens’ willingness to defend the Supreme Court from curbing attacks. The chapter focuses on two national survey experiments which randomly assign respondents to polarized or unpolarized conditions in the context of a salient Supreme Court ruling. While disagreement with Court decisions always increases support for curbing the Court, the effect of disagreement is substantially larger in polarized relative to unpolarized conditions. The chapter demonstrates that the polarization effect is not due to mere partisan branding and that disagreement with specific decisions has a larger impact on support for narrow than broad curbing.

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