Court Most Supreme

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for the opening of a new term, how popular is the United States Supreme Court?

  1. What story does the data tell?

  2. Why do you think that is?

  3. What is one consequence of this story?

  4. Why do you think the approval of the Court has flip flopped over the past few decades?

  5. How accurate was your prediction?

  6. A student named Hans said that the Supreme Court’s approval rating is irrelevant. What piece of information supports Hans’s claim?

  7. Imagine that the Supreme Court had a very low (25%) approval rating, how might that impact the force of its rulings?

  8. The Court opens it’s annual term on the first Monday in October (next Monday, October 7). How will you celebrate?

  9. Imagine that the Supreme Court decided that it wanted to increase its approval rating. What would be one way the Supreme Court could achieve that goal?

  10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job?

  11. What is the Supreme Court’s job, anyway?

  12. Describe how partisan identification impacts opinion of the Court?*

  13. Considering that 5 of the 9 Justices were Republican appointees, and the Supreme Court Chief Justice was appointed by Republican, George W. Bush, what explains the fact that 27% of Republicans think the Court is too liberal?

  14. How do you think Donald Trump's appointment of Brett Kavanaugh has affected America’s opinion of the Supreme Court?

  15. How did Americans' feelings about the U.S. Supreme Court impact the 2016 elections?

  16. How much of an issue will the Supreme Court be in the 2020 election?

  17. Describe how ideology impacts Americans’ views of the U.S. Supreme Court.*

  18. Describe how political party impacts Americans’ views of the U.S. Supreme Court.*

  19. The Court currently has six male and three female justices. Among the nine justices, there is one African-American (Justice Thomas) and one Hispanic (Justice Sotomayor). Why do you think the Court is so much less racially and ethnically diverse than America?

  20. At least five justices are Roman Catholics and three are Jewish. It is unclear whether Neil Gorsuch considers himself a Catholic or an Episcopalian. Why do you think the Court is so much less Protestant than America?

  21. Check out the Supreme Court docket (cases it will here) for the coming term. Which one of these cases is the most important?

Visual Extension*


Learning Extension

Read the entire Pew Report on American views of the Supreme Court.

Action Extension

John Roberts is the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice. Contact him and explain one thing he could do to improve the favorability of the U.S. Supreme Court:

Supreme Court With Dogs Extension