Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ignoramus Americans Like the Supreme Court Less, Which Means Nothing


Once in awhile, I run into a piece on a mainstream website that perfectly sums up my position on a particular issue. So without further ado, here is Hamilton Nolan from Gawker:
How did the recent ruling on Obamacare change the American public's opinion on the Supreme Court? Well, the public approval rate of the Supreme Court went down. Who cares?

The average American cannot tell you how many justices are on the Supreme Court, much less intelligently interpret the vagaries of Consitutional law and accurately assess how well it is being applied, in a philosophically coherent manner. Most Americans get the bulk of their education about the legal system from the popular Fox television series Cops.

Sure, there may be a vague—and accurate—public sense that the Supreme Court is dangerously politicized for such an unaccountable body. But the fact that the latest high-profile ruling featured a justice going against his party's preference should be an encouraging sign for anyone with that concern. The fact that public opinion simply marched in lockstep with the yammerings of cable news pundits makes it all the more clear that asking the average American about the Supreme Court is as worthwhile as asking a two-year-old how to pick up that hot girl at the bar: sure, they'll you something, but it won't be worth a shit.

I suppose the members of the Supreme Court can simply pose next to a popular professional athlete when they're ready for their approval numbers to rise again.
My hat is off to you, sir.


Bonus: Courtroom scenes we'd like to see

5 comments:

  1. "But the fact that the latest high-profile ruling featured a justice going against his party's preference should be an encouraging sign for anyone with that concern."

    Sorry - I don't agree with that statement. I'm too suspicious of Roberts and the motives behind his decision. The cartoon is much more accurate, imo.

    Also, I understand the author's point, but I think a two-year-old would be WAY better at picking up hot girls than most guys. Hee hee.

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  2. Bill,

    Great post. Yet I think maybe being in this desert of media misinformation for so long one's inclined to think the mirage is a sea. I think it's more like the stopped clock is right twice a day here.

    He says "the fact that the latest high-profile ruling featured a justice going against his party's preference should be an encouraging sign for anyone with that concern [that the Supreme Court is dangerously politicized]".

    Of course, it's not that it's "politicized" that's the problem, so much as that it's pretty much captured by the big money, as you've pointed out with Roberts and Obamacare.

    "The average American cannot ... intelligently interpret ... how well [Consitutional law]is being applied, in a philosophically coherent manner".

    Yet that criticism seems applies to the educated of our society, too. Maybe fifteen years ago the journalists covering the court started hailing a "States' Rights Revolution". Except it only applied to certain things. For instance, the rightwingers on the court ruled the Americans with Disabilities Act didn't apply to state governments, because they didn't like that law. And then they totally contradict that claim when they rule against state laws on assisted suicide or medical marijuana or whatever.

    Likewise, Scalia is alleged to be an adherent of the doctrine of "original intent" and "strict construction", which apparently means corporations are really persons, campaign bribes are actually speech, the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with militias and the fourth amendment doesn't even exist.

    So Hamilton Nolan may pride himself in his knowledge of the "vagaries", as he says, but I imagine he's basically lost at sea on the specifics, which are more important as they actually relate to reality.

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  3. No comment on the article; just wondered if you were aware of this film coming up, directed by Russell Crowe, on the life of Bill Hicks.

    http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/russell-crowe-to-make-directorial-debut-with-bill-hicks-biopic-production-to-start-in-2013-20120723?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email#.UA4RlGhOS5Q

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    Replies
    1. Actually, I was not. Thanks for the tip! :)

      Delete
  4. http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/russell-crowe-to-make-directorial-debut-with-bill-hicks-biopic-production-to-start-in-2013-20120723?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email#.UA4RlGhOS5Q


    a film coming up on bill hicks ...

    ReplyDelete