Public Opinion and the Rehnquist Court
By Thomas R. Marshall
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Public Opinion and the Rehnquist Court offers the most thorough evidence yet in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court representing public opinion. Thomas R. Marshall analyzes more than two thousand nationwide public opinion polls during the Rehnquist Court era and argues that a clear majority of Supreme Court decisions agree with public opinion. He explains that the Court represents American attitudes when public opinion is well informed on a dispute and when the U.S. Solicitor General takes a position agreeing with poll majorities. He also finds that certain justices best represent public opinion and that the Court uses its review powers over the state and federal courts to bring judicial decision making back in line with public opinion. Finally, Marshall observes that unpopular Supreme Court decisions simply do not endure as long as do popular decisions.