University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Susan Siggelakis - Associate Professor of Political Science
Public Opinion and the Supreme Court, the Rehnquist Court and Free Speech.
This project looks at the apparent relationship between public opinion and the decisions of the Supreme Court. By focusing on free speech issues it is a narrowing and continuation of previous research. The research concentrates on several major court decisions from 1986 until present, then looks at public opinion data which relates to the cases or to the issues involved in the case. Each case is analyzed to determine what relationship, if any, is apparent between these two items. Later in the paper these analysis are used as a basis for a more comprehensive and overarching trend analysis which looks at the relationship between opinion and decisions. These individual analyses are also used in looking at the question on a political, ideological and policy making level.