The story of Supreme Court politicization: The mass public v elite divide
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This paper explores how throughout American history, a divide in opinion has formed between the class of political elites who occupy positions of power within our government, and the average American. Historical analyses have shown that the Supreme Court has been repeatedly politicized to benefit politicians and activists alike, though evidence shows that there is very little support for these types of behaviors in the public at large. Furthermore, a survey was conducted to ascertain whether the observed divide still exists within modern America, which provides insight into the current political stand-off that has taken place over who will the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by Antonin Scalia. Ultimately, the results reaffirm the existence of a two track incentive structure as it relates to the Supreme Court and nomination politics. This method allows us to examine historical developments and buttress them with modern data analyses to improve upon vague arguments solely concerned with nonpartisanship as it relates to the Judiciary in the modern era. It becomes clear that, in spite of realignment and institutional change, patterns of court politicization do not abate.