Supreme Court and Popular Opinion

Panelists discussed the relationship between U.S. Supreme Court decisions and American popular opinion. They focused on Mr. Friedman’s thesis that the justices and the people are partners in a… read more

Panelists discussed the relationship between U.S. Supreme Court decisions and American popular opinion. They focused on Mr. Friedman’s thesis that the justices and the people are partners in a “marriage” that sidesteps the two elected branches. Mr. Friedman does not argue that the justices and the people are always in agreement, “but rather that they come into line with one another over time.” Lyle Denniston moderated.

Barry Friedman is the author of The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; September 29, 2009), in which he examines the history of the relationship between popular opinion and the Supreme Court from 1776 to the present.

“The Will of the People: The Supreme Court and the American Public,” held at the National Constitution Center’s Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, was co-sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The program was part of a two-day symposium at the University of Pennsylvania Law School titled “The Judiciary and the Popular Will,” sponsored by the Journal of Constitutional Law. close

Report Video Issue