There is an interesting article in today’s NY Times about how the Supreme Court’s approval rating is down to just 44%, lower than President Obama’s, partly due to the ideologically divided 5-to-4 decisions in Bush v. Gore, which determined the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United, the 2010 decision allowing unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions.
Not long ago, there were several justices appointed by Republican presidents that were in the “liberal” camp, such as John Paul Stevens and David Souter. These days, other than Anthony Kennedy, it seems that all the justices nominated by Republicans are staunchly Conservative, and all justices nominated by Democrats are staunchly Liberal, matching what seems to be happening with the US Congress.
Here’s a listing of Supreme Court Justices through history.
What is causing all this divisiveness? I believe it’s in part fueled by people’s increased ability to access news with their own slant, instead of news that’s reasonably unbiased. Conservatives can listen to Rush Limbaugh to continually validate their own opinions, for example.