Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court

Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court

by Rosalee Clawson, Eric Waltenburg
     
 

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Thoroughly grounded in the latest scholarly literature, theoretical sources, and experimental results, Legacy and Legitimacy substantially advances understanding of Black Americans’ attitudes toward the Supreme Court, the Court’s ability to influence Blacks’ opinions about the legitimacy of public institutions and policies, and the role of

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Overview

Thoroughly grounded in the latest scholarly literature, theoretical sources, and experimental results, Legacy and Legitimacy substantially advances understanding of Black Americans’ attitudes toward the Supreme Court, the Court’s ability to influence Blacks’ opinions about the legitimacy of public institutions and policies, and the role of media in shaping Blacks’ judgments.

Drawing on legitimacy theory—which explains the acceptance of or tolerance for controversial policies—the authors begin by reexamining the significance of “diffuse support” in establishing legitimacy. They provide a useful overview of the literature on legitimacy and a concise history of the special relationship between Blacks and the Court. They investigate the influences of group attitudes and media “framing.” And they employ data from large-scale surveys to show that Blacks with greater levels of diffuse support for the Court are more likely to adopt positions consistent with Court rulings.

With its broad scope and inclusion of new experimental findings, Legacy and Legitimacy will interest students and scholars of judicial politics, racial politics, media and politics, black studies and public opinion.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The U.S. Supreme Court's Earl Warren-era revolution in the areas of civil, individual, and privacy rights is the focus of this historical and statistical treatise, which combines sociology with survey analysis in a successful effort to prove that Brown v. Board of Education and related Supreme Court decisions of the 1950s and 1960s have created a well of goodwill toward the Court among African Americans. The Court therefore enjoys a legacy of legitimacy among black Americans, according to Clawson and Waltenburg (both political science, Purdue Univ.). The concept of political legitimacy as a stabilizing force is central to the book's theme and is particularly important in a pluralist democracy such as the United States, where constituents regularly lodge competing demands, thereby placing stresses upon the political system. The authors seek to measure, through a series of extended surveys and intricate statistical analysis, the one institution of government that most effectively regulates pluralist conflicts and rallies support for the regime. They then conclude that relative to other institutions, the Supreme Court has the greatest capacity to legitimize policies. Recommended for academic libraries.
—Philip Y. Blue

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592139040
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
11/20/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
232
File size:
1 MB

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