Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Republican Schoolmaster: The U.S. Supreme Court, Public Opinion, and Abortion

Charles H. Franklin and Liane C. Kosaki
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 83, No. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 751-771
DOI: 10.2307/1962059
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962059
Page Count: 21
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Republican Schoolmaster: The U.S. Supreme Court, Public Opinion, and Abortion
Preview not available

Abstract

The United States Supreme Court has a historical role as a "republican schoolmaster," inculcating virtues in the citenzry. The role as teacher to the republic also serves the interests of the Court. As the "weakest branch," the Supreme Court needs public support if its decisions are to be effective. We investigate the Court's ability to win popular support for its rulings, specifically in the case of Roe v. Wade. The analysis shows that the Court's decision did affect public attitudes but not as previous work would predict. While support for abortions to protect health increased as a result of the Court's decision, the public became more polarized over "discretionary" abortions. The puzzle is what process can account for these disparate reactions. We develop a theory resting on interpersonal influences to explain these results, arguing that the social interpretation of events drives the differing outcomes. This theory is then tested against a purely psychological alternative. The closing discussion considers how these results can be extended to the general problem of public decisions and popular responses, including presidential actions and the influence of the media.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[751]
    [751]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
752
    752
  • Thumbnail: Page 
753
    753
  • Thumbnail: Page 
754
    754
  • Thumbnail: Page 
755
    755
  • Thumbnail: Page 
756
    756
  • Thumbnail: Page 
757
    757
  • Thumbnail: Page 
758
    758
  • Thumbnail: Page 
759
    759
  • Thumbnail: Page 
760
    760
  • Thumbnail: Page 
761
    761
  • Thumbnail: Page 
762
    762
  • Thumbnail: Page 
763
    763
  • Thumbnail: Page 
764
    764
  • Thumbnail: Page 
765
    765
  • Thumbnail: Page 
766
    766
  • Thumbnail: Page 
767
    767
  • Thumbnail: Page 
768
    768
  • Thumbnail: Page 
769
    769
  • Thumbnail: Page 
770
    770
  • Thumbnail: Page 
771
    771