October 4, 2011- Americans’ approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has dipped to its lowest level since John Roberts took the helm as chief justice in 2005.
According to the latest Gallup poll, the Court has a 46 percent approval rating – a drop of 5 percent over last year, and a 15 percent dip from its 61 percent approval rating in 2009, when the Roberts Court was most popular.
According to Gallup, the drop in approval numbers for the historically popular Supreme Court is more likely a reflection of citizens’ overall loss of trust in government, rather than a reaction to actions by the Court itself.
The poll found that Americans still have a positive view of the judicial system. According to the poll, 63 percent of Americans in the same poll say they trust the judicial branch.
-by Luke Johnson
October 10, 2011- Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens writes in his new memoir, Five Chiefs, that the George W. Bush campaign's 2000 appeal to the United States Supreme Court over the Florida recount was "frivolous" and never should have been granted.
He recalls bumping into Justice Stephen Breyer at a Christmas party and the two having a brief conversation about the Bush application to halt the recount by issuing a stay. "We agreed that the application was frivolous," he writes. "To secure a stay, a litigant must show that one is necessary to prevent a legally cognizable irreparable injury. Bush's attorneys had failed to make any such showing."
-By David G. Savage
June 27, 2011- The Supreme Court, closely divided along ideological lines, made it harder for states and cities to use public funding of campaigns to limit the effect of private money on elections.
In a 5-4 decision, the justices struck down an Arizona law offering extra "matching funds" to candidates who opted to accept only public funds and who faced a free-spending opponent who relied on personal money. The matching funds were designed to make sure the publicly funded candidates could keep pace with their opponent.
While the court's conservatives called the Arizona law an unconstitutional effort to "level the playing field," its liberals said it was a step toward a government "accountable to the many" and not just the wealthy.