Nine years after the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the counting of ballots in Florida, its decision in Bush v. Gore appears to have had some lasting impact on how the public views the justices.
A new poll from C-SPAN asked voters whether the ruling affected their view of the Court. A substantial minority, 29 percent, said that the ruling did. And not surprisingly, those who said so saw the ruling as incorrect, as a sham or as an area the justices should have avoided altogether.
About 21 percent of the 801 voters polled said they have visited the Supreme Court, and 88 percent said that the Court has an impact on their "everyday life as a citizen."
Knowledge about the Court is mixed, the poll suggests. Seventy-nine percent correctly answered that there is no mandatory retirement age for justices, but only 52 percent -- little better than a coin flip -- correctly said that there is no requirement that the chief justice be a lawyer. Thirty-seven percent correctly said that there have been three female justices, while 39 percent correctly said that there have been two African-American justices.
Asked about the operations of the Court, a majority opposed lifetime appointments for justices and supported televising oral arguments. (C-SPAN has been a vocal proponent of the latter.)
This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.