Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


This paper investigates whether Republicans or Democrats support a strong Supreme Court and why. Furthermore, by analyzing data from the 2012 American National Election Survey, I will study support of the court based on gender, age, and race. Since the early 1980’s the court has taken a strong conservative direction, to the dismay of many liberals. Republicans feel comfortable sending a congressional dispute to the courts while Democrats may feel disenfranchised with the judicial process. I also believe that younger people believe the court is an outdated method of making laws and interpreting the constitution. Originally the Supreme Court was supposed to be an unbiased part of the government, insulated from political parties and interest groups, but today it is hardly close to its original intent. The Supreme Court was first created by the Founding Fathers in Article III of the Constitution, but its role in American society has shifted greatly. Initially, the court focused mainly on constitutional ambiguities interpreting federal law and resolving disputes with the federal government. Today, the court is much more politically driven, being essentially a rubber-stamp for the party that they were nominated by. Presidents care less about how fair a judge is, but whether he will vote consistently with his or her party. Currently there are 5 justices appointed by Republican presidents, and 4 appointed by Democratic presidents. Controversial decisions are consistently ruled on a 5-4 basis along party lines. I believe that there is a correlation between which party holds more seats on the court and how much they support a strong supreme court. Through analysis of other journal articles and the study of unanimous rulings, this paper will determine if the Supreme Court is still viewed as a legitimate institution and which kinds of people respect its authority.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.