Asked by Fox, Americans Find Supreme Court Justices Hard to Recall
By Robert Barnes
If history is a guide, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will grab the attention of the nation this summer as the Senate decides on her confirmation -- and then quickly fade from view.
A new poll for Fox News is a good indication of how members of the one of the nation's most important institutions operate largely out of the public's consciousness. Asked "Which one of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices do you most admire or agree with?", half of the respondents had no idea. They either did not have an answer to the question or could not name a justice. On the silver lining front, the figure was 68 percent when the question was asked six years ago.
The "winner" in the poll, conducted last week, was Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps the court's best-known and most controversial member. But he shared the top spot (11 percent) with -- drumroll -- Sandra Day O'Connor, who left the court in 2006.
From there, it is a lesson in humility: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (9 percent); Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (8 percent), Justice Antonin Scalia (5 percent) and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (3 percent). Each of the others received 1 percent, including the court's longest-serving justice, 34-year veteran John Paul Stevens, and its newest Samuel A. Alito Jr., who took O'Connor's place.
Extra credit time: Name the remaining two.
Right! Stephen G. Breyer and the (literally) retiring David H. Souter.
The results would not likely faze the justices, who revel in the anonymity that comes with not allowing cameras into their courtroom. Past and present justices have stories of wandering the court's marble palace unmolested by the tourists, at times even being asked to man the camera for a shot of the visitors posing with the statue of a justice who appears more famous.
Web Politics Editor
June 16, 2009; 11:54 AM ET
Categories: Supreme Court
Save & Share: Previous: POTUS Events: Morning With Lee Myung-bak
Next: Group Files Suit Against Obama Administration for Access to Visitor Logs
Posted by: rlritter | June 16, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nagatuki | June 16, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SteelWheel25 | June 16, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bluefish2012 | June 16, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: truamerican | June 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: g99999 | June 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rlj1 | June 16, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lloydpaul | June 16, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: webbrats | June 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nodebris | June 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.