Chief Justice Roberts's Health Care Decision Disrobed: The Microfoundations of the Supreme Court's Legitimacy

  title={Chief Justice Roberts's Health Care Decision Disrobed: The Microfoundations of the Supreme Court's Legitimacy},
  author={Dino P. Christenson and David M. Glick},
  journal={American Journal of Political Science},
The 2012 challenge to the Affordable Care Act was an unusual opportunity for people to form or reassess opinions about the Supreme Court. We utilize panel data coupled with as-if random assignment to reports that Chief Justice Roberts's decision was politically motivated to investigate the microfoundations of the Court's legitimacy. Specifically, we test the effects of changes in individuals' ideological congruence with the Court and exposure to the nonlegalistic account of the decision. We… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Reassessing the Supreme Court: How Decisions and Negativity Bias Affect Legitimacy

While the Supreme Court’s legitimacy is generally considered essential to its influence, scholars continue to debate whether the Court’s decisions affect individuals’ assessments of it. The last week

Issue-Specific Opinion Change The Supreme Court and Health Care Reform

Did the Supreme Court decision in the Affordable Care Act case change public opinion about health care reform? Utilizing a multi-wave panel design with observations collected just hours before and

An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Supreme Court Justices’ Public Rhetoric on Perceptions of Judicial Legitimacy

Public support for the US Supreme Court has been trending downward for more than a decade. High-profile decisions and hotly contested nominations have drawn the Court into our polarized politics.

Change in Institutional Support for the US Supreme Court Is the Court’s Legitimacy Imperiled by the Decisions it Makes?

Political pundits and scholars alike have recently noticed that public judgments of how well the U.S. Supreme Court is doing its job have plummeted. Yet, the meaning of this drop for the larger

The Dynamics of Legitimacy Change for the U.S. Supreme Court

ABSTRACT This study examines how the Court's highly salient decision in NFIB v. Sebelius affected its legitimacy using a nationally representative panel survey that assessed legitimacy perceptions

Curbing the Court

What motivates political actors with diverging interests to respect the Supreme Court's authority? A popular answer is that the public serves as the guardian of judicial independence by punishing

Updating Supreme Court Legitimacy: Testing the 'Rule, Learn, Update' Model of Political Communication

One of the more important innovations in the study of how citizens assess the U.S. Supreme Court is the ideological updating model, which assumes that citizens grant legitimacy to the institution

Tending the bar: Case allocations in the Court of Justice of the European Union

To what extent does the president of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) make strategic use of his members? Despite its status as the world’s most powerful court, recent scholarship has

The Public's Motivated Response to Supreme Court Decision-Making

ABSTRACT This article analyzes how the public perceives the Supreme Court's decision-making in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014) and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius

Making Sense of the Supreme Court—Public Opinion Relationship 1

Does life tenure, legal precedent, judicial ideology, and the facts of cases insulate U.S. Supreme Court justices from the public’s shifting preferences, or do Supreme Court decisions follow public



Has Legal Realism Damaged the Legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court

Does understanding how U.S. Supreme Court justices actually decide cases undermine the institutional legitimacy of the nation’s highest court? To the extent that ordinary people recognize that the

Is the U.S. Supreme Court's Legitimacy Grounded in Performance Satisfaction and Ideology?

Bartels and Johnston have recently presented evidence suggesting that the legitimacy of the Supreme Court is grounded in the ideological preferences and perceptions of the American people. In

The Supreme Court and the US Presidential Election of 2000: Wounds, Self-Inflicted or Otherwise?

The conventional wisdom about the US Supreme Court and the 2000 presidential election is that the Court wounded itself by participating in such a partisan dispute. By ‘wounded’ people mean that the

Do Attitudes Toward Specific Supreme Court Decisions Matter? The Impact of Webster and Texas v. Johnson on Public Confidence in the Supreme Court

In this article, we revisit the question of whether, and in what manner, attitudes regarding specific Supreme Court decisions influence subsequent levels of confidence in the Court itself. Analysis

On the Ideological Foundations of Supreme Court Legitimacy in the American Public

Conventional wisdom says that individuals’ ideological preferences do not influence Supreme Court legitimacy orientations. Most work is based on the assumption that the contemporary Court is

Knowing the Supreme Court? A Reconsideration of Public Ignorance of the High Court

Conventional wisdom holds that the American people are woefully ignorant about law and courts. In light of this putative ignorance, scholars and other commentators have questioned whether the public

The Passive-Aggressive Virtues: Cohens V. Virginia and the Problematic Establishment of Judicial Power.

In his celebrated "Foreword" to the 1961 Harvard Law Review, Alexander Bickel coined the expression "passive virtues" to refer to certain jurisdictional doctrines or judicial "techniques" for

On the Legitimacy of National High Courts

The purpose of this research is to examine theories of diffuse support and institutional legitimacy by testing hypotheses about the interrelationships among the salience of courts, satisfaction with

The Legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court in a Polarized Polity

Conventional political science wisdom holds that contemporary American politics is characterized by deep and profound partisan and ideological divisions. Unanswered is the question of whether those

Shattering the Myth of Legality: The Impact of the Media's Framing of Supreme Court Procedures on Perceptions of Fairness

The tendency of the media to depict the Supreme Court as inherently apolitical, some scholars argue, is part of the reason that many believe in the “myth of legality” in which the Court is perceived