Inter-Institutional Dynamics: Assessments of the Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers Context

Inter-Institutional Dynamics: Assessments of the Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers Context Using data collected from a survey experiment, we examine whether information about the nature of the interactions between the Supreme Court and Congress influences respondents’ assessments of the Court. We find that political sophistication is key to understanding how individuals incorporate the separation of powers context into their evaluations of the Court. Political sophisticates give the Court its highest assessments when told that the Court and Congress are often in disagreement, and that Congress is most responsible for this disagreement. Assessments of the Court are significantly lower, however, when sophisticates believe that high levels of disagreement between the Court and Congress are due to the Court’s actions and when these respondents believe that the Court and Congress agree a high proportion of the time. These results suggest that for political sophisticates, the Court’s institutional standing is related to the balance it strikes between deference to Congress and judicial independence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Inter-Institutional Dynamics: Assessments of the Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers Context

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Social Sciences, general; Political Science, general; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-011-9190-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Using data collected from a survey experiment, we examine whether information about the nature of the interactions between the Supreme Court and Congress influences respondents’ assessments of the Court. We find that political sophistication is key to understanding how individuals incorporate the separation of powers context into their evaluations of the Court. Political sophisticates give the Court its highest assessments when told that the Court and Congress are often in disagreement, and that Congress is most responsible for this disagreement. Assessments of the Court are significantly lower, however, when sophisticates believe that high levels of disagreement between the Court and Congress are due to the Court’s actions and when these respondents believe that the Court and Congress agree a high proportion of the time. These results suggest that for political sophisticates, the Court’s institutional standing is related to the balance it strikes between deference to Congress and judicial independence.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 19, 2012

References

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