Public Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions

By Valerie J. Hoekstra | Go to book overview
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Studying the effect of Supreme Court decisions on public opinion has proven to be a difficult task. There simply has not been a wealth of data out there to work with. This was the very issue I was grappling with until Jeffrey Segal stopped me in the hallway of the Political Science Department at Stony Brook. He told me there was a case from Long Island going to the Supreme Court and that I should think about “doing something with it.” His suggestion served as the impetus for an earlier part of this research project, which we worked on together, and, ultimately, for this book. For this and for his continued advice and support, I am incredibly grateful. While Jeff's comment started me thinking about how to do something with that Long Island case, it was support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the departments of Political Science at SUNY Stony Brook and Washington University in St. Louis that made it possible to do so. At Stony Brook, I was given access to staff offices to call residents of Long Island. A grant from NSF (SBR 9423032) made it possible to pay for the long-distance calls and to train and pay interviewers to conduct many of the calls. I am also indebted to John Sprague, who, as chair of the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis, set up a makeshift survey center so that I could continue to conduct interviews from St. Louis.

In addition, I have benefited from the wisdom of many others who have generously read and commented on different parts of the manuscript at one point or another. I hope I have faithfully incorporated their comments; but, of course, I take full responsibility for the flaws that remain. In particular I am indebted to Lawrence Baum, Gregory Caldeira, Brad Canon, Robert Durr, Lee Epstein, Stanley Feldman, Ada Finifter,


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Public Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions


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