Vouching for the Court? How High Stakes Affect Knowledge and Support of the Supreme Court

Martha H Ginn, Kathleen Searles, Amanda Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Building on the geographic constituency theory of awareness of Supreme Court decisions, we conducted a panel survey in Cleveland, Ohio before and after Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, which upheld state-funded vouchers in religious schools. We found several characteristics predict awareness: news consumption, income, and knowledge of and positive feelings toward the Court. Our results also showed those vested in the outcome, such as African Americans, religious individuals, and parents were more likely to change their attitudes in favor of the decision and become more positive toward the institution. These findings help us understand the circumstances under which some individuals may become vested in court decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalJustice System Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Legitimacy
  • Media
  • Public opinion
  • Supreme Court

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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