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

5 - Specific Policy Disagreement and Support for Court-Curbing


Chapter 5 examines the effect of disagreement with specific Supreme Court ruling on support for both narrowly and broadly targeted Court-curbing. The chapter presents results from a national panel survey with waves surrounding some of the most important rulings in the contemporary era, including 2012’s health care ruling (NFIB v. Sebelius, upholding the Affordable Care Act), 2013’s rulings on the Voting Rights Act (Shelby County) and same-sex marriage (Windsor), and 2015’s landmark ruling declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges). The results demonstrate that citizens’ support for Court-curbing changes as a function of agreement and disagreement with salient rulings. The chapter also demonstrates that right-wing citizens are consistently more supportive of Court-curbing throughout the 2012–2016 period, suggesting that blockbuster liberal rulings during this period have had a substantial impact on mass perceptions of the Court’s ideological tenor. We also report the results from two original national survey experiments which show that the effect of policy disagreement is larger for narrow than broad Court-curbing.

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