Supreme Court Hits Lowest Favorability Numbers In 25 Years

It appears that Congress is not the only branch with falling poll numbers. According to Pew Research Center, the Supreme Court now is viewed favorable by just roughly 50 percent of the public.


Only fifty-two percent of Americans hold a favorable view of the Supreme Court today. Notably, “[t]here are virtually no partisan differences in views of the Supreme Court: 56% of Republicans, and 52% of both Democrats and independents rate the Supreme Court favorably.” Of course, popularity is not a requirement for the Court, which was given jurists with life tenure to protect it from public opinion. The Court has often been the most unpopular when it has been the most right, such as on desegregation.

Yet, it is striking to see how all three branches remain unpopular with most Americans. Once again, it is striking how the public holds its government in such low regard. Yet, citizens feel incapable to forcing change due to the monopoly of power exercised by the two parties. I have previously written how we need to address this crisis with fundamental changes in our system. The Framers gave us the tools to force such changes, including reforming the Supreme Court. I have previously called for the Court to be expanded to 19 members. However, there are other proposals for reform, but none are being considered in a political system locked down by two parties.

Source: Pew

189 thoughts on “Supreme Court Hits Lowest Favorability Numbers In 25 Years”

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  4. Tony,

    I just got done watching a movie called The Wicker Man. Sometimes it’s best to walk away.

  5. Tony,

    “Yeah, the kid is a poseur, he is still suffering under the delusion that he can appear to be smart by using ostentatious language.”

    Just a reminder, the technical term is argumentum verbosium, but as the Godfather of Soul says it . . .

  6. @bhoyo: Comprehensive Reform of Adminstrative Law is still not your topic.

    That wasn’t the topic, the topic was whether it was necessary or not, and clearly doing away with agencies, which is your clear agenda, is idiotic. But you cannot defend your agenda, so you are reduced to lying about what you said, attacks on my intelligence, and false characterizations of me. My ego is not bruised, why should it be? I totally destroyed your entire argument, end to end.

    The very thing you complain about in agencies is a necessity because subject-matter experts are a necessity, both to formulate sensible regulations and to investigate and recognize any violations of those regulations.

    1. “But you cannot defend your agenda, so you are reduced to lying about what you said, attacks on my intelligence, and false characterizations of me.”

      Tony,

      All to true. I wonder if you two debated face to face if he would threaten to punch you, as Buckley did to Gore Vidal after being bested verbally. Dogmatic rhetoricians, lacking logic/facts, tend to get angry when the fog they put out is seen through.

  7. Poor Tony C,

    His bruised ego is now on display, alas it is a sad sight. Regardless of all this he should still avoid the topic of Comprehensive Reform of Adminstrative Law, it is still not your topic.

  8. @bhoyo: neither of you ever answered specific questions I posed,

    Now you are just LYING, I specifically answered FOUR of the questions you posed, here, and here.

    @Mike: Yeah, the kid is a poseur, he is still suffering under the delusion that he can appear to be smart by using ostentatious language.

    Although I am sure we would both agree that finding the perfect word can count as rhetorical genius, we would also agree that rhetoric does not create substance, and no amount of rhetoric slathered on an empty idea is going to make it ready for the prom. (like lipstick on a pig.)

    Personally I think the opposite is true. The “spelling bee” words (and I was a champion in grade school) lose readers and reduce comprehension; they are a barrier to understanding.

    Somebody that wants to debate an idea can do it without resorting to overblown rhetoric. After all, if somebody really is that wicked smart, they should be able to figure out how to communicate their ideas simply and effectively to the average person in the average vocabulary. That is a true sign of intelligence, and bhoyo is putting on pretentious airs, and is now lying, to cover up his lack of it.

  9. Mike,

    Lol I have a solution, you and Tony would work well together, In that neither of you ever answered specific questions I posed, I think it is an excellent match up..

  10. Tony C.

    LOL You are hoot my friend. At any rate again, I just went back and reviewed the posts in this line.
    I am convinced you don get it, so of course I am not upset, and actually at this point I am mildly amused.
    Regradless of my amusment this is obviously not your subject, The commment that this is a transparent call to abolish agency governance is sort of revealing of how your mind works. If I didnt pose questions like the Chevron deference doctrine, or the concerns of having agencies empowered with all three government powers, or what is the impact of interstitial legisaltion from the bench, or an agency under Chevron, then you might have a leg to stand on, but in that I invited a response about particulars in the Adminstrative Law field. The invited dialogue is of course in some of the areas comprehensive reform is needed.
    I wouldnt worry that I insulted your intelligence, I would worry if I were you, that your tendentious responses would bring it into question.

    1. Tony,
      Perhaps you get now what I meant when I said upthread tha bhoyo was plaing Buckley. Excess of verbiage yet devoid of substance.

  11. @bhoyo: I really don’t wish to continue in this vein.

    Then you should stop trying to end it on an insult of my intelligence.

    You seem to have a totally political standpoint,

    No I do not, I have a logical standpoint. I answered your questions directly, and you refuse to address or refute my answers, you want to deflect me by claiming I am not qualified to discuss the topic. That is an insult; when you cannot answer logic, you resort to insult.

    I have not asked to abandon agency governance, I have pointed out issues and suggested we are in need of reform.

    Oh, really? You said, “Is the excrescent nature of agency governance a threat to representative democracy?”

    So, you are now saying that even though this excrescent agency government is a threat to democracy, you do not want to abandon it?

    You immediately then say, “Do we need comprehensive reform?”

    What would “comprehensive reform” consist of if it retained the “excrescent agency government” ? Wouldn’t that still be a threat to representative democracy? How else are we supposed to interpret these statements except as a transparent call to abolish agency government?

    Experts in agencies that formulate regulations that can be fairly imposed and determine if those regulations have been violated are a necessity as long as citizens continue demanding that the government prevent bad actors from harming their lives, health, property and finances.

  12. @Bhoyo: You are right; I was wrong. It is 2/3 to propose; not to ratify, the states must ratify. Nevertheless, my meaning holds, my mistake was in an ill-formed intensifier, not in the substance of my argument.

    The substance of my argument is that the Congress will find a way to effectively delegate whether it is official or not. The substance of your argument is simply missing; there is none; just a vague call for “comprehensive reform” because you don’t like “agencies.”

    1. Tony,

      I really don’t wish to continue in this vein. I have posed a few specific questions and have attempted to assure you this is not a partisan issue to me, it is dealing with organic law, the Constitution and a structure that can support both energy in government and liberty. You seem to have a totally political standpoint, which is your right,on the other hand my concerns go to organic law, which despite your protests just ain’t your topic.
      I have not asked to abandon agency governance, I have pointed out issues and suggested we are in need of reform.
      Good luck

  13. @bhoyo: this is obviously not your topic.

    That is not obvious to ME. The fact that I think your concerns are illogical and unfounded does not mean I am not qualified to discuss the topic. If you want a structural change, as you claim, then you should outline at a minimum what you think the problem is a structural change can plausibly correct.

    You claimed your structural change was to not allow the Congress or Courts to re-delegate their powers. You claimed your structural change was to not allow Agencies to have both rule-setting and judicial powers.

    I have pointed out that even WITH those structural changes, you end up with the same problem; which is effective delegation.

    If you want to have Congress vote explicitly on every law and regulation to be passed, you are implicitly arguing for nearly zero laws and nearly zero regulation; which is nothing more than the libertarian “all regulation is bad” stance redressed in the costume of concerns about “agencies.”

    If that is NOT your stance, then please explain how we will enforce tens of millions of lines of regulation without effectively delegating the power to set rules, and determine compliance, to topic experts within agencies. Congress and the courts do not have the subject-matter expertise to make fair regulations or determinations of wrong-doing. They are not (with a few exceptions) MDs or engineers or statisticians or chemists.

    1. Tony,

      Well just be well. It is OK. If you somehow assume that. 75% if both houses can amend, we are just to far apart on the basics. You do of course have the right to your opinion, but comprehensive reform maybe a topic for you to avoid. For awhile anyway

  14. Tony c,

    I will note that what happens now DOES leave Congress with the power of oversight, and if 75% of Congressman (in the House and Senate) agree on ANYTHING they can make it part of the dang Constitution.

    I am sorry I bothered you, this is obviously not your topic. Be well.

  15. @bhoyo: one is the ineluctable fact that increased agency governance increases lobbying.

    Hence my second paragraph in my response of 8:43 AM. I apologize for the disjoint flavor of that reply, I was interrupted by a technical question that took several minutes to resolve and I returned to the post in a different frame of mind.

    Nevertheless, the ideas are not mutually exclusive. The size of the government, and something at least LIKE the agency structure, is necessary in order to enforce the sea of laws and regulations demanded by the people. To a large extent that works; OSHA has improved work places, the FDA has made food and drugs safer, the FAA has made aviation safer, etc.

    However, that same size, and the budget, increases the corruption of lobbying, of fraud, of self-aggrandizement, of bigotry and favoritism and all the other sociopathic ills brought on by people having power with money.

    I am not sure there is any way out, because we are here due to human nature: When we see somebody has been clearly wronged, we want the perpetrator punished, and if the law does not permit that we want a new law passed. It is a one-way rachet, always an increasing number of laws. Short of revolution, I do not see how to reset it.

  16. @bhoyo: Is there a genuine delegation issue when the Court allows agencies to interpret legisaltion (statutes) and make adjudication based on that exegesis?

    No. I say that speaking logically. Here is a hypothetical: Suppose the agency personnel are hierarchically structured, so there is a head person at the top that answers to Congress. Congress sets a rule that he can answer to a Congressional committee instead, and the committee’s decision will be binding on all of Congress, unless, say, 75% of Congressmen sign a petition protesting some ruling of the committee.

    It is Congressmen on the committee, and Congressmen have a route to override the committee, so all the power resides in Congress.

    Now, the agency head prepares a written list of problems encountered by his agency to present to the committee. “People are doing this, we think that should be prohibited by law with the following language, X Y Z.”

    At the end of such a written presentation, the committee instructs him to combine all recommendations in the form of a Bill, in the appropriate language. He does so.

    Then the committee meets once a quarter, and without so much as looking at the report or Bill, votes to pass it into law. All Congressmen are provided a copy of the bill in case they wish to organize a 75% protest; they also do not read it and do not protest. The bill passes. The agency then starts enforcing that new law. Next quarter, it all happens again, precisely the same way.

    How would my hypothetical alternative structure, which delegates NO explicit rule-making power to the agency, be materially different than what happens now?

    I will note that what happens now DOES leave Congress with the power of oversight, and if 75% of Congressman (in the House and Senate) agree on ANYTHING they can make it part of the dang Constitution.

    I do not understand what you hope to accomplish with any structural change.

    Can the court delegate it’s powers to interpret the Constitution or statutes to an un elected agency.

    By the same token, the formality of delegation is immaterial, the court can effectively delegate its powers of interpretation by assigning or hiring assistance and then uncritically rubber-stamping whatever their hired assistants say. The Supreme Court Justices have clerks. Clerks have no official power, but if a SC Justice wanted to, he could have a clerk write his opinion and then the SC Justice could sign his name to it without even bothering to read it, and that would not be illegal. Congressman have staffers, and we know for a fact that Congressman have asked staffers to research how they should vote and then simply voted that way. That is effective delegation. The Congressman made the actual vote, but if you ask him why, his only real reason is something like, “Cindy told me to vote yea, and I stand by my vote, I feel in my heart it was the right thing to do, but I will have to talk to Cindy to find out why.”

  17. Tony C

    The idea of comprehensive adminstrative law reform has other troubling aspects, one is the ineluctable fact that increased agency governance increases lobbying. Seems counterintuitive but if you look at the scenario with Dodd Frank at the moment you will see what happens. Dodd Frank of course wrote orginating legislation, broad and devoid of the specific regulations that would lead to enforcement. The current estimates as to when the various agencies will finish the formal rule making process, are all over the board, but it is accurate to say that no time soon is right on. When the proposed regualtions are posted in the Federal register lobbyists who represent the banking industry are consulted, as they are the representatives of the industry to be impacted. The wranglings go on and on, but be assured that the broad orginating statute is vastly different from the rule making that will emerge; Below is a link for your reference:

    http://www.davispolk.com/Dodd-Frank-Rulemaking-Progress-Report/

  18. Tony C,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I am aware that there are a number of good reasons why Agency structures were developed, and in the study of Regulation and Deregulation many of the points you brought up are of course included. I must have mislead you in the presentation of the question so again my apologies there. It is not the why we need regulations I have asked, or to my knowledge, I dont think I have; rather it is the how.
    Man has always strove and asked for justice and liberty in government since we firts sought to escape the ‘state of nature’. The failed attampts at popular government are the pages of history. In the American epoch we managed to get the formula right, that is liberty shall grant power, not power allow liberty. TO achieve that we needed a structure that brought the Spirit of the Revolution ( the DOI ), into reality.
    The amount of attention people pay to an issue is in direct proportion to the size of the headline, hence the two lines devoted to Paul Verkuil as the head of the renewed ACUS a few years ago is not a topic. Your ready dismissal of it as genuine concern is emblematic of most peoples response. Although there are certain traits of man that are lamentable, as you pointed out in the corruption example, I still believe self governance is avaialble if the effort is made. For me, and for may others who track Adminstrative Law, there is a genuine concern that it’s proliferation has yielded to expediency, and lacked a focus on the architectonic concerns that assure sufficient energy in governanace, and the cherished liberty we all agree upon.
    The questions I posed above, impacts of variant interstitial legisaltion, whether produced by Courts, or by agencies is a valid topic, although you seem to have ignored it. How much common law practice is proper in USSC cases which include Constitutional Law and Adminstrative Law ? Is there a genuine delegation issue when the Court allows agencies to interpret legisaltion (statutes) and make adjudication based on that exegesis ? Can the court delegate it’s powers to interpret the Constitution or statutes to an un elected agency. Which of the issues below should be weighted to serve liberty and governance:
    1 Publuic Interest
    2 Public Adminstration
    3 Public choice
    Is the limited access to Article 3 courts once one is involved with Agency Enforcement a concern ? Why are ALJ statutorily exempt fron review ?
    Why is there no, I repeat no practicable soluion to ‘capture’ in place at this juncture.

    The reform I have asked for is to structure. I appreciate your offerings, but the question still remains, as does the threat to a Constitutional republic. Are you aware of the extent that agencies employ their governance in the modern world we live in ? Is it 80% 70% do you know what the % is ?

  19. Tony C.

    My apology. I also joined the military right after high school.

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