Article Title

Confidence and Constraint: Public Opinion, Judicial Independence, and the Roberts Court

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


This Article uses statistical models to show the relationship between public opinion of the Supreme Court and the Court’s propensity to invalidate federal laws on constitutional grounds. Merril, Conway, and Ura analyze this connection to underscore the loss of judicial independence as a result of declining public opinion. The authors note this decline in public opinion allows the President and Congress to leverage public opinion against the Court in order to influence whether a federal law will be invalidated.