Masters Thesis

“Partisan Cues and the Supreme Court: Public Perceptions and Motivated Reasoning”

Committee Chair: Dr. Michael P. Fix

Committee Members: Dr. Toby Bolsen, and Dr. Amy Steigerwalt


The public has two vastly different perspectives on the role of the Supreme Court, the political and institutional. To understand how these two are compatible, I conduct a survey experiment about Supreme Court case decisions while varying political, institutional, and case issues. Specifically, I am interested in how partisan indicators and political ideology effect agreement with case outcomes.  Relying on Nicholson and Hansford’s (2014) theoretical framework about party cues, I propose that motivated reasoning is producing these hyper-partisan  evaluations of the  Supreme Court.



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