Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


For many scholars, the Warren Court is the epitome of antimajoritarian policy making since many of the Court's decisions overturned legislation passed by Representatives of the people. By examining nationwide public opinion polls in that era that ask the public their thoughts about particular issues the Warren Court has ruled on, it is evident that most of these rulings were truly majoritarian and received public approval. In addition, this thesis analyzes some recent studies that discern national attitudes with respect to government policy making (public mood), assessing congruity or incongruity between the Court's liberalism and public policy mood which provides insight about the Warren Court's role perception. The Burger Court is analyzed with similar methods to provide contrasts and comparisons with the Warren Court. Finally, a normative study concerning the influence of public opinion is undertaken to better understand the role of the Supreme Court in American society.