Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:22:23


Political Science

Honors Course

POLIT 497-003

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


American citizens are granted several freedoms by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment established protections for the rights of assembly, petition, press, religion, and speech, the lattermost of which enables people to express ideas without fear of suppression from their government. Therefore, the general public is empowered to hold various opinions about the institutions that wield authority over them. Measuring public opinion is a crucial endeavor to those in power, as such work yields intuition for how different branches of government are perceived over time. The federal judiciary is helmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, comprised of eight associate justices and one chief justice. Those who sit on the Supreme Court are not directly chosen in an election, insulating their jurisdiction in comparison to the President and Congress. Despite historical trends, approval in the Court is undergoing a drastic decline. In this study, I explain changing attitudes of Americans concerning political issues relative to notable verdicts by the Supreme Court through examination of previous studies pertaining to judiciary approval and interviews with registered voters on the subject, gathering evidence in support of several causal relationships which explain the phenomenon occurring.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Phil Marcin

First Reader

Dr. Nancy Marion

Second Reader

Dr. Ron Gelleny

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Ron Gelleny

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Thompson HRP Final Signature Page.pdf (192 kB)
Final Signature Page



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