Attacking Nominees Demeans Court

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2009 3:53 PM CDT
Attacking Nominees Demeans Court
President Barack Obama announces federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, right, as his nominee for the Supreme Court.   (AP Photo)

The political attack ads popular in general elections have a profoundly negative effect on the public’s view of the Supreme Court when used during the nomination process, James L. Gibson writes fror “Politicized confirmation processes can indeed damage the institution of the US Supreme Court itself,” Gibson writes of a survey taken after Samuel Alito was nominated.

“We're not talking here about attitudes toward Alito but about the fundamental legitimacy of the court,” Gibson writes. The court aspires to be considered as above politics—an idea welcome to the public—but the nomination process can obscure that goal. “Politicized nomination processes unteach that elevated view of the courts,” Gibson writes. “It would not be surprising if many Americans concluded that the Supreme Court is just another political institution.” (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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