• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Seventeen thought-provoking essays in this sophisticated yet accessible reader demonstrate how political scientists conduct research on law, courts, and the judicial process, and at the same time answer interesting, substantive questions. Illustrating the breadth and depth of judicial politics studies, the essays convey to students the array of contemporary thinking -- both theoretical and methodological -- at work in the field. The book's five parts cover subjects taught in most judicial politics courses. Because each chapter stands alone, instructors have the flexibility of assigning less than the whole book or chapters in a different order. Topics examined range from information used by voters electing judges to the credibility of victims of sexualized violence. Accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Contemplating Courts offers fascinating views ...

Chapter 15: Media, Knowledge, and Public Evaluations of the Supreme Court

Media, Knowledge, and Public Evaluations of the Supreme Court
Media, knowledge, and public evaluations of the supreme court
CharlesH.Franklin and LianeC.Kosaki

Knowledge is not a prerequisite for opinion. Uninformed opinion runs especially rampant in politics. Our political ideologies, partisanship, and perhaps even personalities predispose us to evaluate policy proposals, candidates, and events in ways consistent with our prior beliefs, even when we know very little about the substance of these phenomena. Sometimes our prior beliefs serve us well, as when a Republican voter assumes that the Democratic candidate is more liberal than the Republican candidate. Most of the time this is true. The assumption by the same Republican voter that the Republican candidate is more honest than the Democrat, more intelligent, or more competent, however, enlarges the ...

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