September 9, 2012

Only 4% think the Supreme Court is doing an "excellent" job.

25% say "good," 39% say "fair," 28% say "poor," and the "not sure" crowd matches the excellent group at 4%.

The "good" + "excellent" total — with only 13% of that total being excellent — is almost exactly the same as the "poor" number standing alone. (29%/28%.) The "good" + "excellent" is less than half the size — 43% — of the "fair" + "poor" group.

If people are unhappy with the Court, which way are they unhappy? To satisfy people — and this was a poll of likely voters — should the re-balancing be done by Obama or Romney?
Democrats give the high court more positive ratings than Republicans and unaffiliated voters do. Most Republicans (61%) view the Supreme Court as being too politically liberal, while a plurality of Democrats (44%) says it’s too conservative. Unaffiliated voters are more evenly divided.

Men rate the court more negatively than women do.

A majority of Americans believe there are too many unnecessary laws in the United States, and there are too many people in jail for violating them.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters continue to favor repeal of the president’s health care law.
That makes it sound as though adding conservatives is what would make people — I mean, likely voters — happier. But I don't assume that. Maybe people would think better of the Court if it could avoid splitting down the middle and issuing opinions that make different decisions seem equally plausible and thus create the impression that a bunch of presidential appointees just voted for what they like.

Beyond that, the Court's work may produce happiness that doesn't register when the poll asks people to "rate the way that the Supreme Court is doing its job." That wording — the actual wording of the question — directs you to focus on the Court and think of craftsmanship. That won't measure the extent to which we enjoy the benefit of having a particular issue taken out of the realm of political decisionmaking or having it left in. To take the most obvious example, you might think the Court's privacy rights decision aren't well grounded in the text of the Constitution, but you're experiencing whatever benefits exist in a society where women get to choose when their bodies go through the process of reproduction.

49 comments:

Curious George said...

"...but you're experiencing whatever benefits exist in a society where women get to choose when their bodies go through the process of reproduction."

You mean they get to choose to terminate the process by murder don't you? Because what's described above is "use birth control" or "don't fuck". Neither is affected by a SCOTUS privacy decision.

MadisonMan said...

Or for God's sake.

Who the hell cares what kind of job the Supreme Court is doing? They decide -- what -- 50 cases a year or something?

I'm so sure there's a Customer Satisfaction is our Number One Priority plaque above all the Urinals and in all the Bathroom stalls in the Supreme Court.

What a stupid thing to ask people about. Who pays for this kind of garbage?

Okay, that's off my chest. Time to grade papers :)

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Personally, I'd rather see a poll that gives insight into what people think the role of the court is supposed to be, as originally founded.

I'm guessing that after several decades of Liberal-dominated academia, most have no clue.

And having no clue, who cares how "happy" they are about it?

MadisonMan said...

Bad link, by the way, to the poll details.

creeley23 said...

I assume the link is this Rasmussen poll.

Shouting Thomas said...

... but you're experiencing whatever benefits exist in a society where women get to choose when their bodies go through the process of reproduction.

I don't get too worked up over this stuff, because my life is not consumed with politics.

"Benefits?" Well, yeah, there are always benefits to getting what you want. Some women want abortion to be virtually unrestricted, which it is now.

Those aborted babies don't seem to get much "benefit."

I guess it will also be a "benefit" to somebody when and if the Court votes in favor of gay marriage.

But gay marriage is 0 for 32 when presented to the electorate.

I won't get too worked up over the Court's vote over gay marriage either, but I can see why the electorate doesn't take kindly to having its will overriden.

Shining Wit said...

Someonehastosayit: It's brave of you to come out for the Jacksonian view that the Court should merely be a co-adviser with the executive as to matters of law.

~

Regarding Althouse's point about the Court splitting, aren't close decisions inescapable, given that the Court only takes hard cases? On a related note, if Congress wanted to stick it to the Court, they could threaten to remove discretionary cert.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that we all have our pet peeves. On the left, it is probably Citizens United and Bush v. Gore. For me, it was ObamaCare and, as a patent attorney, most of what they do with patents, and esp. as to patent eligible subject matter. Every time that they touch the subject, they make the case law worse, and more divorced from reality. Of course, the Federal Circuit is just as bad, due to the varying memberships of the panels.

I think though that the ObamaCare decision by CJ Roberts was inexcusable. He looked so hard for a way to split the baby, that he found a tax, after the text of the legislation had been changed from "tax" to "penalty" in just that one spot during enactment of the legislation. I am also no fan of the Court's Affirmative Action legislation. The 14th Amdt. Equal Protection Clause doesn't have an exception for state universities pandering to racial groups - except that it does now for visual (versus actual) "diversity" for 25 years (until extended)by a later Court)

Shouting Thomas said...

And that "benefit" language was very cleverly opaque.

Somebody always benefits, and somebody always pays in any political transaction.

The aborted babies are paying so that women have the "choice."

virgil xenophon said...

ANN, it is NOT the role of the SCOTUS to legislate "benefits," THAT is the job of Congres. Rather, the Supreme Courts ONLY question should be: "Is it constitutional?" NOT whether it is good or bad per se. There are MANY "Bad" laws that are put on the books constitutionally as well as many "good" ones that are arrived at by un-constitutional means. The saying "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" wasn't arrived at by accident. The SCOTUS should stay the Hell out of the "legislative thicket" and tend to its rather more properly restrictive knitting. Leave the legislating to the people. Philosopher-Kings in robes we can do without. If we had wanted Kings we would have kept old George..

Pogo said...

I used to have great respect for the law. Even considered going to law school like my siblings did.

Over time I have lost that respect, and after the Roberts Obamacare decision I have none remaining.

The law has become just another tool for diktats in a banana republic. They will endorse whatever they are told to, bowing and scraping.

I expect to lose my right to bear arms and even to defend myself. I expect the loss of all my free speech rights, save for the freedom to be PC.

I am savoring my remaining years of freedom.

creeley23 said...

Maybe people would think better of the Court if it could avoid splitting down the middle and issuing opinions that make different decisions seem equally plausible and thus create the impression that a bunch of presidential appointees just voted for what they like.

That is how the Court looks to me.

A lawyer friend has spent years trying to convince me that what the Constitution says really matters, but after Roberts just made stuff up, that no one on either side believed in order to protect Obamacare, even my friend threw in the towel.

Shouting Thomas said...

Another group pays a heavy cost for the "benefit" that women enjoy... and that's men.

What cost are we demanding from men when we essentially disenfranchise them from any right to their offspring?

One of the bumper sticker type slogans that I often get on Facebutt puts it this way...

When a woman abandons her child, it's her choice.

When a man abandons his child, he's a "deadbeat dad."

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Object lesson for the folks:

Shining Wit said...
Someonehastosayit: It's brave of you to come out for the Jacksonian view that the Court should merely be a co-adviser with the executive as to matters of law.


Here we see the classic and misleading debate technique, used with shocking frequency by Obama, btw, of:

1. State a position the opponent did not take.

2. Declare it wrong. Mock it. Dismiss it. Etc.

3. Assert victory

creeley23 said...

Democrats have been chafing at the constraints of the Constitution since Woodrow Wilson. If Obama wins and appoints two or three more Justices, that's the end of the United States as a republic moored to the Constitution. Instead we become a postmodern state and the Constitution means whatever the Justices want it to mean.

Sam Hall said...

When a group of people can decide that the right to abortion is in the Constitution, how can you respect them?
Remember, without Roe vs Wade, each State could decide the issue.

Erika said...
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edutcher said...

This has been the case since the school prayer decision and probably before that.

Many people see Court decisions as either favoring the Left (which often happens) or something arbitrary, made up of whole cloth (even more often), to satisfy someone's agenda.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: I should add that I am an unrepentant adherent of the late Duane Lockard of Princeton (The Perverted Politics of American Politics) who espoused the belief that the entire SCOTUS constitutional review process itself was an invalid exercise of power; dreamed up as it were out of whole cloth by John Marshall like Athena sprung fully-armed from the forehead of Zeus. Lockhard holds that Marbury v Madison was a sham case from jump-street used only to enshrine/cement/foist/cram Marshall's personal views on the rest of the Government.
I would concur. The SCOTUS is nothing but a political weather-vane anyway. The best example of this are two cases decided only a few years apart by essentially the same court: The WWII Japanese internment case and the Korean War Youngstown Tube& Steel case. Why did the court stay the war-power hands of the President in the Korean case when it ok'd virtually unlimited powers in the WWII case? Simple. The SCOTUS (and every one else) was scared shitless that we might actually lose the war. Even blind observers will note that no steel-workers struck during WWII. But they struck during the Korean war for the same reason that the SCOTUS protected their right to strike--both groups felt safe and snug, secure in the belief that the Korean War posed no existential threat to the US. Were the SCOTUS "constitutionally principled" they would have decided the same way (one way or the other) in both cases. Instead they read the newspapers..

Pogo said...

It'd be a lot cheaper, and more honest, to replace the Supreme Court with a coin flip: heads they win, tails you lose.

Saint Croix said...

Beyond that, the Court's work may produce happiness that doesn't register when the poll asks people to "rate the way that the Supreme Court is doing its job."

Glib, glib, glib! Use the "abortion" word, Althouse. When you hide behind the liberal facade of "choice" or "privacy" it turns your argument into apple sauce.

"We have more choices! We're happy!"

But when you stay specific, on point, then your sentence is...

"Abortion produces happiness!"

That is counter-intuitive, to put it mildly. Why would birth control incompetence make anybody happy? Why would paying cash for a surgical procedure to fix your mistake make anybody happy? Does fixing your car make you happy?

Abortion involves emotional and psychological stress. This is so frickin' obvious that when liberals deny it I want to climb up the wall. You just terminated a non-baby and you're so in denial about it you can't talk about it with anyone!

How does that translate into "happy"?

Women who have an abortion are seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who give birth to a baby.

See Stakes study from Finland. And unlike studies done in the US, the Stakes study is from a socialist country. So everybody's abortions are tracked and we can accurately measure the death rate.

Perhaps because the suicide rate is so increased, abortion is four times more fatal than childbirth.

Not surprisingly, childbirth decreases the suicide rate by 50%. I know it's a shock to the liberal mind, but having a baby tends to make people happier.

Liberal ideology is so dishonest on this point that they will recognize post-partum depression, but deny with every fiber of their being that abortion might depress a woman. Women who have had abortions have created a self-help website. Why? Because health officials refuse to recognize any and all health risks from abortion.

These are the same morons who didn't inspect abortion clinics in Pennsylvania for 17 years! (See the grand jury indictment against Dr. Kermit Gosnell).

Meanwhile, men get to have more one night stands with more women. That's what abortion provides for us. And I do not actually agree that this is the path to happiness, either. But it's certainly more fun than having to pay a doctor to rip the non-baby out of your uterus.

virgil xenophon said...

***SORRY***"The Perverted PRIORITIES of American Politics."

edutcher said...

virgil, could you give me a link to that?

This is something I've thought since I was first exposed to Marbury v Madison at age 12.

Shining Wit said...

Shouting:

I meant my comment as a joke, not a debating technique. Sorry for being so opaque. I was tempted into my comment due to your comment about the Supreme Court's role "as originally founded." Would that be prior to Marbury v. Madison? It's tough to get a handle on these things. You're probably making a Robert Bork-style point about the liberal expansion of due process and such, right? I'm on board with that, but the scope of the Supreme Court's powers as "originally founded" is a murkier question.

Hagar said...

The Supreme Court sets a high standard for itself, and by their own standard I would at best give it a C+.

The worst in the current jurisprudence I think is still Griswold and the precedent it set.

virgil xenophon said...

@edutcher/

No link, but you can buy a used paper-back of the book on Amazon for two bucks (iirc) Of course the SCOTUS bit is but a small part of the book--you'll enjoy the other parts on Federalism, bureaucratic decision-making,etc., as well. Although a 1971 work, it stands up very well..

Chip S. said...

Fifty percent (50%) of voters continue to favor repeal of the president’s health care law.

That makes it sound as though adding conservatives is what would make people — I mean, likely voters — happier. But I don't assume that.


It seems like only yesterday that you were spinning a theory that Obama really wanted the SC to overturn the ACA so that he could run against the decision. Why do you reject the logical inverse of your prior argument?

wef said...

How dare the hoi polloi be so impertinent!

They should be grateful that the Supreme Court is acting as a Supreme Legislature - for gods' sake, some institution of the hoi oligoi has to take responsibility for these masses of idiots and drones.

edutcher said...

Thanks.

I've noted you have to go back in time to find something not tainted by the Lefties in many areas.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

In my view, the SC should not stray far from the simple job of: Is it ('it' being an output of either of the other two Co-Equal Branches)constitutional?

And that is: as in the original Constitution, and as lawfully amended, and as with the common meaning of the 'words', at the time in history they were put down.

Under a separation of powers and system of checks and balances, I don't see much more of a role than that, as being necessary. That one role, is quite vital enough.

EMD said...

What a stupid thing to ask people about. Who pays for this kind of garbage?

MM is right on. Dumb question to ask. Most of the population hears about one high-profile case a year at most. Very few have a clue about what the SC does most of the time.

cubanbob said...

The court could instantly gain credibility from both sides of the political aisle if it routinely struck down laws passed by both sides by simply stating it isn't the court's business to read minds and divine intent and rather strike them down and give congress the admonishment of if you are going to be lawmakers, then write coherent laws then we will be able to actually make a constitutional decision. Of course it would also help if the lawmaking body would actual write a statement of purpose on what the law is supposed to do, to whom it applies and where the authority to craft the bill arises from. I suppose its too much to expect law makers, most who were lawyers, to actually do what any practicing lawyer does when they file a brief.

sydney said...

. Maybe people would think better of the Court if it could avoid splitting down the middle and issuing opinions that make different decisions seem equally plausible and thus create the impression that a bunch of presidential appointees just voted for what they like.

Exactly. Also, it would help if they didn't go about making up their own definition of words, like "tax" and "penalty." Here in Ohio, our legislature passed a law that said that if doctors offered an apology to a patient for a bad outcome, the words of their apology could not be used against them in court. In a subsequent court case, one of our appeals judges decided to redefine the word "apology" to mean only expressions of sympathy, such as what one would offer at the funeral of a neighbor whom one did not kill. That is clearly not the definition of apology.

Like Pogo, I have lost all respect for the law. I see it not as an instrument of justice, but as a weapon to be used indiscriminately by one citizen against another.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

To take the most obvious example, you might think the Court's privacy rights decision[s] aren't well grounded in the text of the Constitution, but you're experiencing whatever benefits exist in a society where women get to choose when their bodies go through the process of reproduction.

You are assuming that, in a country where women are the majority of the electorate in 49 of 50 states, they would not have that ability if they desired it, but for the Supremes running to their rescue with Griswold, Roe, and Casey. ("Get to choose when their bodies go through the process of reproduction"? Good heavens, Ann, you're not generally so mealy-mouthed as that. Or was irony intended?)

Aridog said...
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Aridog said...

Shining Wit said...

It's brave of you to come out for the Jacksonian view ...

Why not? That is exactly what the SCOTUS under CJ Roberts did in the Affordable Care Act ruling. Stooping to infer or "deem" wording not in the legislation.

The Chief Justice feared, correctly, that the autocratic Executive Branch would go all "Jacksonian" on it and suggest bluntly that the court had ruled and the court could dang well enforce their own ruling.

The Supreme Court has castrated itself just as the Congress of the United States has done. Only thin missing is a coronation & a crown.

Aridog said...

cubanbob said...

The court could instantly gain credibility from both sides of the political aisle if it routinely struck down laws passed by both sides by simply stating it isn't the court's business to read minds and divine intent and rather strike them down and give congress the admonishment of if you are going to be lawmakers, then write coherent laws then we will be able to actually make a constitutional decision. Of course it would also help if the lawmaking body would actual write a statement of purpose on what the law is supposed to do, to whom it applies and where the authority to craft the bill arises from. I suppose its too much to expect law makers, most who were lawyers, to actually do what any practicing lawyer does when they file a brief.

This comment by @Cubanbob is so good I had to repeat it...rather than ramble off on my own verbose crap.

bagoh20 said...

There is a lot of unhappiness about the court not being above partisan politics, which the breakdown of the decisions pretty clearly shows it is not. People hope that the SC is gonna pick who is right in those battles, but it is clearly just another political exercise - just another poll with an elaborate process.

Joe said...

Was "shitty" an option?

Jack Wayne said...

What would please me is if we could get rid of all the big government judges on the SCOTUS. Of course, that leaves Thomas all by himself. But maybe then he could be Chief.

Ann Althouse said...

"That is counter-intuitive, to put it mildly. Why would birth control incompetence make anybody happy? Why would paying cash for a surgical procedure to fix your mistake make anybody happy? Does fixing your car make you happy?"

You're not looking at the effects from a wide enough perspective. We benefit from the avoidance of the existence of the children these women didn't want and might not have cared for properly and for the management of the timing of children, so that we get different individuals, born to more mature parents who generally have a better attitude toward their children and a better economic setting and more stability in which to raise them.

I know you'll say that's no excuse for murder, but that's you looking directly at abortion, which you hate. I'm saying there are these other benefits, which flow to society, as the Court takes the heat for allowing these murders/nonmurders to occur.

Ann Althouse said...

"Also, it would help if they didn't go about making up their own definition of words, like "tax" and "penalty.""

The word tax for the purposes of the meaning of the constitutional text is not controlled by Congress, and the Court says what the Constitution means.

The Congress can't make something that is a tax into something that is not a tax by changing the label (using a different word, like "penalty").

Now, what part of that do you disagree with and why?

sydney said...

Penalty- the suffering or the sum to be forfeited to which a person agrees to be subjected in case of nonfulfillment of stipulations.. As in, if you don't purchase this product, we will assess a penalty of X amount of dollars.

I think Congress was accurate in the use of the word penalty.

Shining Wit said...
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wyo sis said...

You can say that children will have a better chance if they are born to parents who want them and will take care of them. That's logical. But, can you say the consequences to society in devaluing life are balanced by the better lives of the children who are allowed to be born? I'm not sure you can.

jdniner said...

No one ever thinks about the Supreme Court unless they are in school, working with it, or a reporter interviews them.. That's about 4 percent.

Aridog said...

The Congress can't make something that is a tax into something that is not a tax by changing the label (using a different word, like "penalty").

Now, what part of that do you disagree with and why?


Okay. Not a lawyer here, BUT I have extensive experience dealing with taxes and penalties and the IRS....with extremely able lawyer assistance. My direct experience says that the IRS assesses penalties per se, for failure to perform or comply with IRS code. Therefore, this is a penalty that will be assessed by H&HS and the IRS for non-performance and non-compliance. Said penalties are not deductible or off-settable for tax purposes. They ARE penalties. Period.

The court did what you've said, but in reverse. Congress mistakenly referred to a "tax" initially, but corrected itself. Yet Roberts "deems" what congress said, meant and intended. At best all he was entitled do was find on the basis of what is written, not "deemed." He made new law by putting lipstick on the pig.

Saint Croix said...

We benefit from the avoidance of the existence of the children these women didn't want and might not have cared for properly and for the management of the timing of children, so that we get different individuals, born to more mature parents who generally have a better attitude toward their children and a better economic setting and more stability in which to raise them.

But that's the eugenics argument. Addition through subtraction. We're removing the undesirables from our society, and thus improving our society.

"Yes, yes, it might be murder, but we terminated the future criminals who would have mugged you. So be happy, because if it wasn't for Roe v. Wade, our society would be a lot worse."

It's just pure wishful theory.

You could just easily say that we might have aborted the baby who would have grown up to discover a cure for cancer.

Jesse Jackson's mom was going to abort him, and her preacher talked her out of it.

So would society have benefited from the abortion of Jesse Jackson?

And we have no evidence--none--that these babies would have been bad for our society. Are the poor bad for our society? Should we devise ways to terminate them?

Justice Blackmun talks about "the cancer of poverty." Is it appropriate, in an abortion opinion, to refer to the poor as a cancer? They just need a job. And yet the unelected people on the Supreme Court are talking about removing the poor, removing the handicapped, from our society.

that's you looking directly at abortion, which you hate.

Yes, the homicides upset me. But there are plenty of indirect effects of abortion for me to despise as well. The destruction of fatherhood. (How did that help the crime rate?) The damage done to the Hippocratic Oath and the practice of medicine. The damage to women's bodies, including accidentally making lots of women sterile. The increase in depression and suicides among aborting women. The cheapening of sex and the degradation of love. The poisoning of our law, and the confirmation process for the Supreme Court. The violation of the oath of office. The blatant disrespect for the handicapped and the poor. Doctors being shot by John Browns. Defining human beings as property, as sub-human. Men attacking pregnant women. Turning human reproduction into a cost/benefit analysis.

Not seeing the happy.

DEEBEE said...

By rationalizing for the ACA, Roberts made the SCOTUS into a cabinet member on the same footing as the DOJ.