Eric Posner Takes Issue with Supreme Court Justices' Populist Defense

The Justices Doth Protest Too Much

This week, the US Supreme Court begins its 2021 term amid a buzz of speculation that it has lost the public’s confidence. A recent Gallup poll finds that only 40% of the public approves of the way the Court handles its job – the lowest level since the survey began in 2000 (when the Court had 62% support).

Some of the justices are concerned. Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Amy Coney Barrett have all recently made public statements insisting that the Court is not politicized – or as Barrett indelicately put it, “not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”

But public polling should be taken with a grain of salt. The Court’s reputation always fluctuates. Its approval has fallen near the 40% level in the past before recovering, and its current reputation is much better than that of the presidency, Congress, and most other federal institutions.

Read more at Project Syndicate

The judiciary