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Supreme Court’s Public Approval Sinking

Supreme Court Justices 2

A new Gallup poll seems to show the Supreme Court losing esteem in the eyes of the public:

After an important term in which the U.S. Supreme Court made landmark decisions on cases involving voting rights, gay rights, and affirmative action, the institution’s approval rating has declined to its lowest level since June 2005. Forty-three percent of Americans now approve of the Supreme Court, down six percentage points from September of last year. Slightly more Americans disapprove of the court (46%) than approve, which has happened only one other time since Gallup first asked this question in 2000.

The current results stem from a July 10-14 Gallup poll — shortly after the conclusion of the 2012-2013 Supreme Court term that included major rulings on key social issues. Together, the court’s decisions are difficult to pigeonhole ideologically — the court struck down a 1996 law prohibiting federal recognition of gay marriage, while also invalidating portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Nonetheless, they involve controversial issues for the American public, and even within the court itself, which decided these two cases by slim 5-4 margins.

As this chart shows, there’s been a marked drop in public approval of the Supreme Court, and a corresponding increase in disapproval over the past 13 years:

Supreme Court Approval 1

Given the number of controversial cases that the Court has taken on in recent years, this probably isn’t entirely surprising. Just in the last two or three terms, there has been enough in the Court’s decisions to annoy people on both sides of the political aisle be it the Obamacare decision, the Voting Rights Act decision, or DOMA. However, as I argued last year in connection with a similar poll, the real cause for the loss of public confidence in what remains the least political branch of the Federal Government has less to do with specific decisions and more to do with a general decline in trust for public institutions:

If it was public dissatisfaction with the Court’s work that was the cause of this dip in approval, then one would have expected to see a significant drop off in the aftermath of the decision in Bush v. Gore. Instead, public opinion remained relatively consistent until 2004-2005 when it began dropping, and indeed reached a point in 2005 where slightly more people disapproved of the Court than approved. Now, arguably, the poll may reflect the general increase in public confidence in government at all levels that we saw in the wake of the September 11th attacks. However, after that “rally round the flag” effect wore off and public distrust of other government institutions continued to return to previous levels, public confidence in the Court increased and indeed returned to the levels it was at immediately after September 11th. Until the past three years when it started declining again.

This suggests to me that public approval of the Court isn’t necessarily heavily influenced by the outcome of individual cases. Yes, cases like Bush v. Gore, Kelo v. City of New London, and Citizens United may be controversial and generate a lot of focused opposition from interested parties, but there really doesn’t seem to be any evidence that any single decision, or any group of decisions for that matter, has that much of an influence on how the public feels about the Court. Indeed, back in 2010 on the eve of Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings, one poll found that few Americans could name a single Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade, and that they didn’t have a very good idea of what kind of work the Supreme Court actually does. Another poll a month earlier found that most Americans couldn’t name the members of the Court. It’s doubtful those numbers have changed significantly in the past two years. So, placing the blame for the decline on public opinion on what the Court has actually does doesn’t seem to make sense.

Things get more interesting when you look at the partisan breakdown for the SCOTUS approval numbers:

Less than a third (31%) of self-identified Republicans approve of the Supreme Court, close to the record low of 29% measured shortly after the court’s ruling on the healthcare law last year. While a majority of Democrats, 58%, approve of the high court, their approval is now lower than it was in July of last year, when 68% approved. Independents, meanwhile, register a 39% approval rating of the court, the lowest measured for this group since Gallup first asked the question.

Here’s the corresponding chart showing partisan approval numbers since 2000:

Supreme Court Approval 2

In its commentary, Gallup notes that Republican disapproval of the Court began to increase almost precisely with the time when President Obama took office, which seems to correspond almost exactly with similar Democratic disapproval of the Court during the George W. Bush era. What’s odd about the reaction of Republican reaction, of course, is that the Court remains a largely Republican institution. Presently, five of the members of the Court (Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito) were appointed by Republican Presidents. At the time President Obama seven of the nine Justices (Roberts, Stevens, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter,  Thomas, and Alito) were appointed by Republican Presidents going back to Gerald Ford. Even with the addition of two Obama appointees replacing Justices Souter and Stevens, the Court’s opinions over the past several years haven’t exactly been something that the right should complain too much about even taking the Obamacare decision into account. Instead, it strikes me that these numbers on the right correspond to the general distrust in government that has typified the growth in influence of  the Tea Party movement. Indeed, to hear some Tea Partiers tell it, we don’t even need a Supreme Court to decide what the law is because the answers are all “right there in the Constitution” when, of course it isn’t nearly that simple.

The broader point that a poll like this stands for becomes apparent when you take into account other polling that shows that Congress, the Presidency and, indeed, almost any other public institution outside of the military and police seem to have lost the trust of the public.  In the long term, that’s simply not healthy.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Caj says:

    No wonder! When you have mostly right wing leaning judges on it! The SCOTUS is as bad as Congress! Who cares about the people as a whole? Let’s just pass laws that fit our own personal agenda!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  2. Translation: If only the Court would decide things based on my political biases!!

    Guess what? The law doesn’t work that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  3. Jenos Idanian says:

    I suspect the big spike down from 2005 was backlash from Kelo v. New London. I know quite a few people (mainly, but not exclusively, on the right) are still pissed off about that one.

    And 2001 shows a GOP spike up and a corresponding Democratic spike down — that one I’d attribute to Bush v. Gore.

    Most people don’t pay that much attention to the Court. I suspect each significant change can be tied to a single prominent case from that year…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  4. Jenos,

    No, look at the partisan numbers. The downward spike in 2004-2005 came almost entirely from the left. It had more to do with general dissatisfaction with government, thanks largely to the failures of the Bush Administration in Iraq an elsewhere, than it did any specific Court case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You pay a lot more attention to polls than I do, so I won’t challenge you at “looking at the numbers.” Instead, I’ll explain my reasoning.

    When I read the article, the first thought I had was of Kelo, as it’s probably the most unpopular decision that didn’t fall into a neat partisan interpretation. I double-checked the year of the ruling, and it seemed to correspond with a significant dip. I realize that “post hoc ergo propter hoc” is a bit of a danger, but it seemed a reasonable theory.

    If you say that the underlying numbers indicate something else, I won’t argue your interpretation. As I said, you pay a lot of attention to such things, and I make a point of snubbing them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  6. Jenos,

    The numbers I’m referring to are directly above you in the post I wrote, it’s not that hard to find them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  7. edmondo says:

    The Republicans are happy when there’s a GOP president. The Democrats are only happy when a “Democrat” is in the White House. The Court is just as politicized as the Congress, the media and every other aspect of life in this country.

    Just look at the comments on this board. If their side proposes something, it’s automatically good. Anyone who questions it is the enemy. It’s getting worse and it’s not healthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  8. Stan says:

    When I read Justice Kennedy’s moronic opinion that the type of political contributions under discussion in the Citizens United case “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” I broke out laughing. Members of Congress spend a substantial part of their working week raising money. To argue that their need for campaign contributions doesn’t influence their voting record is either dishonest or stupid. So yes, I’ve lost my respect for the Supreme Court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  9. Woody says:

    Well-considered points. You’d expect that there would be left/right bumps directly after a particular decision, but the longer-term data suggest an ongoing erosion of approval.

    My only quibble is over ‘disapproval of public institutions.’ First, the military and police are prominent public institutions themselves, and as noted, they have remained popular. It will be interesting to see if they remain so.

    Secondly, there has also been a pronounced erosion of trust in private institutions as well.

    Might be that our era features endemic corruption of institutions full stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Tillman says:

    Still beating Congress!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. JohnMcC says:

    Just a little note about the ‘erosion’ of public trust: More than a little bit of that ‘erosion’ is intentional and someone is financing it while other people are working hard to make it happen (and probably are pretty well paid for doing so). Example would be public regard for teachers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  12. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Heaven help me, I am about to agree with Jenos.

    There is a huge spike downward for Republicans and Independents at the 6-month mark in 2005, that reverts upward three months later. The Kelo decision came down in June 2005.

    It would be hard to attribute that particular movement to anything other than Kelo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Just lie down and take two aspirin. It’ll pass soon.

    However, if your agreement with me lasts more than four hours, contact a physician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  14. @Jenos Idanian: Kelo is, in fact, completely consistent with a strict construction of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment.

    The Fifth Amendment was never meant to apply to the states and the 14th Amendment simply states “No State shall [...] deprive any person [...] property, without due process of law”.

    Nowhere does it mention anything like just compensation nor restrict eminent domain for only public purposes.

    It was only activist judges, acting 30 years after the amendment was ratification, that started applying the just compensation and public usage clauses to actions by states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Timothy Watson: I’m not interested in arguing the merits of Kelo here; I’ll just note that I vehemently disagree with it. However, what is not disputable is that it made a lot of people very angry about it, even to the point of some states passing laws specifically to prevent such circumstances happening in their states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  16. becca says:

    I have yet to meet an actual person who doesn’t think CU was a gift to corporations, not good law. This is true even of my very GOP family members and their circles.

    Scalia, Alito and Thomas have become caricatures, not respected jurists. Roberts is cold, cold, cold. I’m sorry. These are just not good men. The American people would be right in distrusting them.

    A question I’ve always wanted to ask. Do conservatives teach their children to swim by just tossing them in the drink?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. Scot says:

    @Timothy Watson: I don’t understand how the 5th Amendment doesn’t apply to the states. Doesn’t the Bill of Rights apply to everyone in the US regardless of what state you live in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. MarkedMan says:

    Scalia has something to do with this. He talks publicly and often and the contempt he feels for those who disagree with him is palpable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  19. becca says:

    @MarkedMan: alito’s petulance is cringe-worthy , too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  20. Tran says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I find your argument not convincing at all. The law doesn’t work which way? The “right” interpretation of the constitution depends on the composition of the SC, just imagine if Kagan had always been SC justice instead of Scalia, a lot of the constitution would be different according to the high court. Every 5-4 decision reinforces that the judges do not simply interpret the constitution objectively but instead apply their particular strand of constitutional thought. How valid a specific brand is depends on the make up of the court, more liberals means a different view of the constitution is the law of the land than under a more conservative court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  21. al-Ameda says:

    Interesting, Republicans have have majority conservative ideological representation on the Court during the 2001-2013 period looked ate here, and yet their level of satisfaction has generally declined further than those of Democrats and Independents.

    Clearly, the Court is not conservative enough for Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. Scot says:

    @
    Tran
    :

    The “right” interpretation of the constitution depends on the composition of the SC

    This is exactly why my approval of the Supreme Court has gone down. It is not because of a particular ruling, but when their rulings come down along ideological lines I question whether they are enforcing the constitution or indulging their biases. I don’t think we should be appointing judges who are unable to set aside their ideological views. Unfortunately it seems our elected officials only seem to care about this principle when they are in the minority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  23. An Interested Party says:

    …polling that shows that Congress, the Presidency and, indeed, almost any other public institution outside of the military and police seem to have lost the trust of the public.

    Hardly surprising when you have so many Republicans and their fellow travelers trashing the idea of government (as well as government itself) every chance they get…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  24. Gustopher says:

    I don’t understand why Republicans are so unhappy with the court, when they really do have a Republican court at this point.

    I have no faith in Scalia, Thomas or Alito to consider the legality of the case before them. That’s three out of five votes needed for a majority. Roberts is generally terrible, and Kennedy appears schizophrenic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: Interesting, Republicans have have majority conservative ideological representation on the Court during the 2001-2013 period looked ate here, and yet their level of satisfaction has generally declined further than those of Democrats and Independents.

    You’re conflating “Republican-appointed” with “conservative ideological.” Just to name a few, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, and Anthony Kennedy were all appointed by Republicans. Hell, Earl Warren oversaw one of the most liberal courts ever, and he was appointed by Eisenhower and was fairly solidly conservative.

    The trend seems to be that unless a Justice isn’t a seriously solid conservative, they’ll drift left more and more over time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The trend seems to be that unless a Justice isn’t a seriously solid conservative, they’ll drift left more and more over time.

    Let’s see: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy.
    Kennedy, based on the gay marriage issue alone, appears to have some libertarian tendency. The Gay Marriage issue should be one that attracts libertarians and independents – Kennedy is not a liberal, nor is he tacking left. Je is what in previous years would be referred to as a regular conservative, he’s not a RINO.

    The other 4 are strong conservatives

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  27. bill says:

    @becca: notice the drop was after adding another feminazi to the ranks! the court has not done much for conservatives the past few years (upholding obamacare as it’s a “tax”)
    laws aren’t designed to be warm & fuzzy either- they are what are they and apply to equally, although some feel the need to be more “equal” than others.
    and yes, just toss the kid into the drink- and go in after them if they sink. it does work….better than coddling and enabling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  28. becca says:

    @bill: Ah, Bill! You had me at “feminazi”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  29. Joe says:

    They lost my respect when they arrogantly and breezily invalidated the votes of millions of Californians to retain the traditional definition of marriage. They wiped out all the hard work the Prop 8 proponents had invested in time and money to get that measure passed, after two attempts, and passed against a hostile, oppositional state government. Justice Anthony Kennedy wants gay marriage, period, for whatever personal reasons, and the law and principles and standards of review be damned, because he threw them all out the window to impose his personal will on the populace. Court spat on our democracy.

    To say that a single (gay) judge from San Francisco can override the votes in a referendum, and then worse, say nobody can do a damn thing about it because they don’t have “standing” is to pervert our system of laws. It really doesn’t matter where you stand on gay marriage, for every American should be ashamed of how gay marriage came about in California. Through a partisan federal judge with a personal agenda, and then by a corrupted Supreme Court that gave such an outrage its institutional blessing. Shame on them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  30. Grewgills says:

    @Joe:
    What are your feelings on how interracial marriage became legal in relatively large swaths of the US? Were the courts wrong there too? Should we have waited til the populace of states with anti-miscegenation laws were ready to recognize equal rights to marriage between blacks and whites?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Joe:

    They lost my respect when they arrogantly and breezily invalidated the votes of millions of Californians to retain the traditional definition of marriage.

    Well that’s interesting Joe, Proposition 8 proponents lost my respect when they arrogantly and breezily funded and voted for a measure denying gay and lesbian people equal protection under the Constitution. Why should it be constitutional for voters to deny other citizens equal protection under the law?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  32. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    another feminazi

    Gee Bill, I guess all female appointees to the Court are “feminazis,” right? One such “feminazi” – Sandra Day O’Connor – graduated at the top of her law class at Stanford University and she was unable to get a job offer other than as a legal secretary or paralegal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  33. Jenos Idanian says:

    Sigh… once again, instead of discussing the main topic, people instead re-hash out the same old fights.

    And you know it’s bad when I am the one to complain about it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  34. mitch says:

    They INGORED and INVALIDATED my vote as a Californian, which I exercised as part of MY rights as a voter to enact changes to our state constitution by ballot initiative. We do not live in a democracy, but are under the rule of King Anthony Kennedy, whose obsession with legislating gay marriage from his bench by hook or by crook, is an affront to the Constitution and the separation of powers. Our founder are rolling in their graves over his raw exercise of extra-judicial power. After this, and after CJ Roberts took a healthcare law that Obama and the Dems swore wasn’t a “tax” and turned it into a tax so he could save it, and they want respect? No way. That court has no legitimacy at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  35. PK says:

    Circular reasoning if ever there were any. Your premise is false. There is not, and never has been, an “equal protection” right to gay marriage, no more than there is an equal protection right for sibling to marry sibling, for a man to marry 3 women, or a woman to marry her goat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  36. Skip Fish says:

    Wanna bet Kennedy is either a closet gay himself or has a gay kid, or gay sibling? Nothing else could explain his insipid opinion on DOMA, or his attempt with the Prop 8 case to shove gay marriage down our throats. I thought the same thing of “Judge” Vaughn Walker, and sure enough, he came out of the closet after he issued his lawless ruling. In another state case, the deciding judge had a gay son. What do you think such judges are going do? Disappoint the people they love most? That courts are impartial is a grand illusion, so we should stop clinging to it. It’s political and it smells.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @mitch:

    They INGORED and INVALIDATED my vote as a Californian, which I exercised as part of MY rights as a voter to enact changes to our state constitution by ballot initiative.

    Two things:
    (1) Does “INGORED” have anything to do with Al Gore?
    (2) I do not believe that voters have the right to deny other citizens equal protection under the laws of the State of California or the Constitution of the United States.

    By the way, I’m sorry for your loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @PK:

    Circular reasoning if ever there were any. Your premise is false. There is not, and never has been, an “equal protection” right to gay marriage, no more than there is an equal protection right for sibling to marry sibling, for a man to marry 3 women, or a woman to marry her goat.

    Evidently, you know more than Justice Kennedy about equal protection under the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  39. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Translation: If only the Court would decide things based on my political biases!! Guess what? The law doesn’t work that way.”

    No, this court decides things based on the Chamber of Commerce’s political biases. Oh, and Scalia’s personal religious biases.

    This is about as corrupt a court as I’ve ever seen, deciding constantly in favor of the rich over the poor, the corporation over the individual, the powerful over the weak. Of course, since the court decides things in a way that conforms to your poitical biases, you decide they are unbiased… because an objective view of any issue leads you to Doug’s perspective!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “I’m not interested in arguing the merits of Kelo here; I’ll just note that I vehemently disagree with it”

    Wait, Jenos isn’t interested in thinking through the merits of something he’ claims to care about, but only wants to discuss his feelings, which are based on nothing but his own feelings of inadequacy? This is indeed a major turn of events. It must be a day that end in Y.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  41. wr says:

    @becca: “A question I’ve always wanted to ask. Do conservatives teach their children to swim by just tossing them in the drink? ”

    No, their own children to to private swimming academies where no one of the darker persuasion is allowed through the gates, except to sweep up after their little darlings. But they are convinced that throwing children into the deep end — preferably tied to an anchor — is the best way for THOSE children to learn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  42. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “Sigh… once again, instead of discussing the main topic, people instead re-hash out the same old fights.”

    That’s right. Don’t they understand that every discussion should be limited to you kissing George Zimmerman’s ass?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  43. wr says:

    @mitch: Wait, your vote to deny constitutional rights to your fellow citizens simply because you think they’re icky was thrown out? Dictatorship!

    Of course, if a majority of Californians votes to accord you second-class status, I’m sure you wouldn’t complain at all, just understand that most people think you’re an ignorant bigot, and thus you should be treated as they want you to be, not as you desire. Right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  44. Jenos Idanian says:

    Oh, look. WR’s back up to his old (and only) trick: wait for others to offer opinions, then whip out his Nerf Gun and riddle them with derisive and ineffectual mockery. And here, he’s trying to bait people into playing his little game.

    The topic, you incredibly stupid moron, is the decline in public approval, and possible explanations why that is occurring. One element of this has to be the Court’s basic role: to settle very important questions.

    In our hyperpolarized society today, many people have a great deal invested in many of these big issues, and tend to see them through their political biases. And when you have that many people feeling that strongly about so many issues, it is inevitable that a court ruling that even brushes against those issues will provoke strong reactions against a good number of people — whose voices tend to be loud enough to magnify their numbers.

    So, any ruling will get a lot of yelling. And that yelling will express itself as disapproval of the Court, as the disappointed group will declare that the Court has done things to “violate their oaths to the Constitution” and so on.

    On the other hand, people who think the Court did right on certain decisions tend not to respond as strongly towards the Court. Yes, they generally approve, but they don’t turn into cheerleaders.

    The second chart Doug provides supports that. In 2001, we see a spike up from Republicans and down from Democrats that coincides with Bush v. Gore. In 2005, there’s d spike down from all three groups that coincides with Kelo. And in 2012, the Democrats spike up, the independents a bump up, and a GOP spike down that coincides with ObamaCare.

    There are other factors, as this only addresses the big changes, and not the overall trend. But it’s certainly a factor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  45. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Guess I do need to go see my doctor. I’ve been upvoting you left and right on this thread! ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: It wasn’t really that bad. Only a complete idiot would argue that the three cases I cited aroused very vocal opposition, regardless of one’s feelings of the merits of the cases.

    Which probably explains wr’s appearance on this thread…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. William Wilgus says:

    It’s no surprise that the Tea Party doesn’t think the Supreme Court is necessary because everything is in the Constitution They think everything is simple and most of government is un-necessary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  48. Pinky says:

    @edmondo:

    Just look at the comments on this board. If their side proposes something, it’s automatically good. Anyone who questions it is the enemy. It’s getting worse and it’s not healthy.

    Sometimes it’s not enough to just click “like”. This statement has to be highlighted and commended.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Jenos Idanian says:

    @William Wilgus: It’s no surprise that the Tea Party doesn’t think the Supreme Court is necessary because everything is in the Constitution They think everything is simple and most of government is un-necessary.

    What is a surprise, however, is that someone as snotty as you could be so ignorant as to be unaware of Section III of the United States Constitution.

    Saying that the Court got something wrong is a HUGE step from saying the Court should be abolished.

    And I’ll go out on a stereotyping limb here, but I’ll predict that you think the Court got Bush v. Gore wrong. So should we put you down for abolishing the Court?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Hey stupid,

    I’m in Brazil on business and since my business actually takes up my time, this was the first chance I’d had to check out OTB and discover that the quivering heap of slime and mucous that calls itself Jenos had spewed out more stupidity.

    Sorry that I can’t live your life of constantly trolling the internet for opportunities to annoy people. Some of us are forced to contribute to the world.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  51. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: Why, that was almost poetic.

    What a pity that invective is the closest thing you have demonstrated as a talent around here. And I’m almost honored to be your muse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  52. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: no, she was a great one! too bad she retired- ruth needs to as well, looks like a corpse up there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    And I’ll go out on a stereotyping limb here, but I’ll predict that you think the Court got Bush v. Gore wrong. So should we put you down for abolishing the Court?

    Florida? Justice Scalia came through as conservatives expected him to. What’s the problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @al-Ameda: You really need to actually read the conversation before you put the “jerk” in “knee-jerk reaction.”

    Mr. Wilgus alleged that the Tea Party is both slavishly devoted to the Constitution and wants to abolish the Supreme Court. I pointed out that the Supreme Court is actually an integral part of the Constitution, so his point was rather stupid.

    I then followed up by applying his own logic — if a group is unhappy with the Court, then they of necessity want to abolish the Court. I extrapolated from his ignorant denigration of the Tea Party that he most likely disagreed with the Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore, and asked if — by his reasoning — he also supported the abolition of the Court.

    As before, I’m not interested in re-hashing any particular Court decision here. The ones I cited are the three most prominent recent examples of decisions that were judged by observers as partisan issues.

    I see no point in rehashing Bush v. Gore. It ain’t gonna change anything now. Your side lost, nothing’s gonna undo it, so suck it up.

    Kelo v. New London is still relevant, as a lot of states responded by passing laws to prevent such events from happening again.

    And ObamaCare? Not much to argue about, it’s being fought in other ways now.

    But back to the original topic… nah, I’ve made my point twice now. It’s up there for all to see, and I don’t see how anyone could object to it.

    Make that “any reasonable person.” I forgot The Usual Gang Of Idiots.

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  55. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    The point being made was that there is a loud subset of the tea party (some would argue it’s core) that THINK the constitution is simple enough to interpret that the Supreme Court isn’t needed. This very vocal constituency doesn’t seem to actually understand the Constitution or a variety of other issues so well, thus they end up saying things like the government needs to keep it’s hands off my MediCare.
    I don’t really know or much care how much of the tea party these people take up. Honestly the tea party of today just seems to be the right wing of the Republican party rather than the pseudo libertarians that they initially portrayed themselves as.

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  56. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    @al-Ameda: You really need to actually read the conversation before you put the “jerk” in “knee-jerk reaction.”

    I read the conversation, you brou8ght up Bush v. Gore, and I addressed that. Do you have a problem with the fact that Scalia came through for conservatives in that case? I don’t, elections have consequences and the result is pretty much what I expected.

    Kelo? I know you’ve profiled me as a White Liberal, however I disagreed with the Kelo decision, and still do.

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