Amazing! Right-wing Republicans see the Supreme Court as liberal rather than conservative!

The Justices of the US Supreme Court sit

This is incredible.

By any objective measure, the U.S. Supreme Court is now more conservative than at any previous time in my life — and I’m in my eighth decade.

But conservative Republicans, most of whom presumably know little or nothing about the high court, generally take a different view, as we see HERE:

Almost half of conservative Republicans believe the United States Supreme Court is liberal under its current conservative majority, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Monday.

Forty-five percent of conservative Republicans said the high court is liberal, as opposed to 39 percent who find it “middle of the road.” Only 9 percent of conservative Republicans said the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, is conservative.

Moderate-to-liberal Republicans held less of an impression that the court is liberal, with 29 percent reporting that perception, but just 15 percent of the group described the court as conservative.

Not surprisingly, results among Democrats were essentially the opposite. Forty-eight percent of liberal Democrats said the court is conservative, whereas a mere 15 percent viewed its ideology as liberal.



  1. How would you classify the recent Supreme Court decision on the ACA?

  2. doc: It was an aberration — a fortunate aberration in the final analysis, but an aberration nonetheless. It did not undo the Roberts court’s overall reputation for conservatism.

    The problem with how some conservative Republicans view the court is that many of them see any ruling that goes against their prejudices as unduly liberal. They have little or no understanding of the importance of court precedents and the niceties of constitutional interpretations.

    For example, I love to remind my right-wing friends that Justice Scalia, a conservative if there ever was one, voted with the majority to overturn laws against flag desecration. He rightly saw the matter as an issue of Free Speech.

    I might be wrong about this, but I expect that the court will rule in favor of gay marriage. Such a ruling won’t mean that the court has swerved to the left, although lots of right-wingers will see it that way. It will simply mean that the court decided the issue on the basis of constitutional provisions. But no matter what the court decides on this issue, it will make history. That is pretty much unavoidable in a matter of this importance.

  3. “The problem with how some conservative Republicans view the court is that many of them see any ruling that goes against their prejudices as unduly liberal.”

    You think that problem is unique to conservatives? Sounds like human nature to me.

    Also, I thought the Supreme Court was ruling on 2 different cases in regards to gay marriage, neither of which has to do with whether or not it is appropriate. I thought they both were more about states rights vs federal rights.

  4. doc: Wake the hell up! I never said the court will base its ruling in the gay-marriage cases on whether they think such marriages are morally appropriate. But if they rule against bans on such marriages, the homophobic right-wingers in your party will have fits. Most of these bigots want the court to mirror their interpretation of Holy Scripture.

    By the way, how do you bring yourself to vote for these sanctimonious bigots? And don’t tell me you don’t vote for them. We know you’re a fan or Ron Johnson.

  5. It would be interesting to hear what evidence you have in mind when you say the Court is the most conservative since forever. Roe has not been overturned. Affirmative action is still legal. Miranda is still law. The Roth test is still going, as is the Tinker test. Which of the great Warren era liberal activist decisions have been gutted? Safe to say, some liberals see any ruling that goes against their prejudiced as unduly conservative. They have little or no understanding of court procedures and the niceties of constitutional law … OK, I am kidding. I think the view that Justices are mechanical in their decision making, and that there personal opinions and politics do not matter was ditched around 1936 (at least by political scientists). There is no need to pretend that one side’s view is bias and another is “law” rightly understood. That is exactly why it matters who is put on the Court!

  6. I just checked. I am awake.

    I merely asked you a question about the legal issues at stake in the 2 cases in front of the Supreme Court. It seems to be about state’s rights.

    Besides, I am amazed you aren’t attacking your hero Bill Clinton for being the person who signed the Defense of Marriage act into law.

  7. Sources the NY Times, Mother Jones, and TPM.

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you that they would view the Supreme Court as too conservative.

    Even more bizzare, the Mother Jones link uses a scale that rates each individual justice and concludes that the sum of those scores make the court more conservative.

    Then in subsequent examples they talk about how the court has actually not ruled in a conservative fashion on several key issues.

    Several examples from the link:

    ‘Will the court find the law unconstitutional? Between 1803, when the Supreme Court first exercised the right of judicial review, and 1857, the Supreme Court declared only one federal law unconstitutional. In its first five years, the Roberts found seven acts of Congress unconstitutional, including swaths of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law in Citizens United. Yet during that time, it did not nullify federal laws at a higher rate than recent courts. And according to the Supreme Court Database, most of its rulings of unconstitutionality could be considered liberal leaning.”


    “How does the court view the Commerce Clause? The court’s health care decision will hinge on its reading of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. Between 2005 and 2010, the Roberts case heard three cases involving the clause; in all three, its rulings were not conservative.”

    Maybe this explains why right-wingers see the court as left leaning.

  8. doc: I am NOT shocked that you’re unaware that the New York Times has long been widely regarded as the best daily newspaper in America in covering the Supreme Court.

    Three of the five links in my comment were to pieces from the Times.

    And if you think the Pew poll’s measure of right-wing perceptions of the court are based on arcane interpretations of the Commerce Clause, you’re more out of touch than I had feared.

    In the meantime, on the basis of your comments here, I’ll mark you down as one of the right-wingers who think the Roberts court is liberal.

  9. Here Pat, try a peer-reviewed article:

    It explains that the Martin-Quinn figures (used in most of the “articles” you just posted) do not determine conservatism or liberalism. They simply track behavior over time. You and the bloggers you read can add your speculation if you like, but the research says nothing about left leaning or right leaning.

  10. What part of corporate personhood don’t they understand?

  11. I don’t think it’s liberal. I think it is a closely divided, 5-4 type court, which is good.

    I do however think that you are liberal, so I will mark you down as one of those lefties who think the court is too conservative.

  12. Brian Opsahl

    Everyone knows it’s 5 to 4 conservatives have the numbers. What confuses Repubilcans is that Justice Roberts voted with the Liberals so the health care bill would remain the law of the land..?

  13. Blogger Ron Chusid nails it:

    “If Dick Lugar was seen as not being a pure enough conservative by today’s Republican voters, it comes as little surprise that conservatives don’t recognize how conservative the Supreme Court is.”

  14. Brian Opsahl

    You mark me down as a Liberal….what the hell doe’s that mean….
    your a Conservitive so I will mark you down…on what I have no idea…?

  15. Brian Opsahl

    Sorry Nef after reading your other posts i’m marking you down as a righty idiot….there..!!

  16. Brian Opsahl

    This Supream Court will go down in history for 2 decisions that had huge impacts on our daily lives….
    1) the citizens united…that will turn all our election into a big fat money grab for the only ones who can afford to buy a polatician…thats called bribery

    2) the ACA or health care for all …and that was from the very conservitive GW Bush appointed Chief Justice John Roberts.

    If the republicans want to cry about that they should wine to Bush he appointed him..

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