Court Opinion

Public opinion of the Supreme Court remains quite positive, all things considered, but it seems that the number of people who think it’s too far right has taken a big jump since Roberts and Alito signed on — 31 percent now say the court is too conservative as opposed to just 19 percent before Bush made his nomination. The number who say it’s just right has declined from 55 percent to 47 percent.

This is, I think, basically grist for the mill that says the public cares about the outcomes of SCOTUS rulings and not, as Roe-backlash theorists often posit, the legal craftsmanship. I’ve never heard anyone try to seriously maintain that John Roberts is a worse drafted of legal opinions than was Sandra Day O’Connor, he’s just further right in his views, and so public opinion moves.