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Public Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions
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  • Page extent: 190 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.42 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 347.73/26
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: KF8748 .H63 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • United States.--Supreme Court--Public opinion
    • Judgments--United States--Public opinion
    • Constitutional law--United States--Public opinion

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521820585 | ISBN-10: 0521820588)

In The Supreme Court and Local Public Opinion, Valerie Hoekstra looks at reactions to Supreme Court decisions in the local communities where the controversies began. She finds considerable media coverage of these cases and a highly informed local populace. While the rulings did not have a significant impact on how citizens felt about the issues in these cases, the rulings did have an important effect on how citizens felt about the Court. The evidence Hoekstra uses comes from a series of two-wave panel studies conducted prior to and following the Supreme Court's decisions. This book provides important insights into how the public learns about Supreme Court decisions and how support for the Court is incrementally gained and lost as it announces its decisions.

• Extensive media coverage and high levels of awareness of Supreme Court cases • Innovative use of a quasi-experimental panel study (or natural experiment) • People update how they feel about the Court in response to its decisions


1. The high-wire act: the Supreme Court and public opinion; 2. Placing the cases in legal and political context; 3. Media attention and public awareness; 4. Changing hearts and minds? Examining the legitimation hypothesis; 5. Public support for the Supreme Court; 6. Conclusion: balancing independence and support.

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