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These Estimable CourtsUnderstanding Public Perceptions of State Judicial Institutions and Legal Policy-Making$

Damon M. Cann and Jeff Yates

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199307210

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199307210.001.0001

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(p.138) Appendix

(p.138) Appendix

Source:
These Estimable Courts
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

For the reader’s convenience, as well as for transparency, we present the wording of the questions we used from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study here. The variables used in our latent scales (legitimacy, knowledge, and obeying the law) appear first. We also indicate after the variable names whether the question appeared on the 2012 CCES only, or if it appeared on both the 2010 and 2012 CCES.

Legitimacy Questions

Variable Name: Do Away with the Court (2010, 2012)

Question: If my state’s highest court started making a lot of decisions that most people disagree with, it might be better to do away with the court altogether.

Response Options:

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Agree

  3. 3. Neither

  4. 4. Disagree

  5. 5. Strongly Disagree

Variable Name: Reduce Jurisdiction (2010, 2012)

Question: The right of my state’s highest supreme court to decide certain types of controversial issues should be reduced.

Response Options:

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Agree

  3. 3. Neither

  4. 4. Disagree

  5. 5. Strongly Disagree

(p.139) Variable Name: Mixed up in Politics (2010, 2012)

Question: My state’s highest court gets too mixed up in politics.

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Somewhat Agree

  3. 3. Neither

  4. 4. Somewhat Disagree

  5. 5. Strongly Disagree

Knowledge Questions

Variable Name: Knowledge—Judicial Review (2010, 2012)

Question: Does your state supreme court exercise the power of judicial review (the ability to overturn an act of the state legislature)?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Yes

  2. 2. No

  3. 3. Don’t Know

Variable Name: Knowledge—State Constitution (2010, 2012)

Question: Does your state have its own constitution?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Yes

  2. 2. No

  3. 3. Don’t Know

Variable Name: Knowledge—Number of Judges (2010, 2012)

Question: How many justices serve on your state’s highest court?

Responses via integer-validated text box

Obey the Law Index

Variable Name: Obey Reward, Obey Right, Obey Outlaw, Obey Hurt (2012)

Questions: Please rate how much you agree/disagree with the following statements

Grid Rows:

Obeying the law is its own reward.

Following the law isn’t very important as long as you do what you think is right. (p.140)

If the government outlawed something I enjoy doing, I would stop because it’s just important to obey the law.

Response Options:

Grid Columns:

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Somewhat Agree

  3. 3. Neither

  4. 4. Somewhat Disagree

  5. 5. Strongly Disagree

Other Variables

Variable Name: State Court Influence (2010, 2012)

Question: How much influence do you think your state courts have on the actions of your state government?

Response Options:

  1. 1. A great deal of influence

  2. 2. Some influence

  3. 3. Little influence

  4. 4. No influence

Variable Name: Realism Scale (2010, 2012)

Question: Do judges make decisions more based on their ideology and personal beliefs, or do they make decisions more on the basis of the law, regardless of their personal beliefs?

Response Options:

0

50

100

The law, regardless of belief

Ideology and personal beliefs

Variable Name: Policy Agreement (2010, 2012)

Question: How often would you say you agree with the decisions reached by your state’s highest court?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Very Rarely Agree

  2. 2.

  3. (p.141) 3.

  4. 4.

  5. 5. Almost Always Agree

Variable Name: Originalism Scale (2012)

Question: Which of the following comes closest to your view of how the Constitution should be interpreted by the courts?

Response Options:

0

50

100

Judges should base their rulings on what they believe the Constitution means in today’s world.

Judges should base their rulings on what they believe the Constitution meant when it was originally written.

Variable Name: Court Experience (2012)

Question: Have you had direct experience, contact, or, involvement with a court case that brought you into a courthouse, including being called for jury duty? Please check all that apply.

Response Options:

  1. 1. Called for jury duty but did not get selected

  2. 2. Selected to sit on a jury

  3. 3. The person being sued/accused

  4. 4. The person filing the lawsuit

  5. 5. Witness

  6. 6. Other

  7. 7. No direct court experience

Variable Name: Preference for Judicial Selection (2012)

Question: Which of the following comes closest to your views about how your state court judges should be selected?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Judges in my state should be elected.

  2. 2. Judges in my state should be appointed for a short term, and then stand for a yes/no vote on whether they should be retained.

  3. 3. Judges in my state should be appointed.

(p.142) Variable Name: Efficacy (2012)

Question: How much do you agree with the following statement?

“People like me don’t have any say in what government does.”

Response Options:

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Agree

  3. 3. Somewhat Agree

  4. 4. Neither Agree nor Disagree

  5. 5. Somewhat Disagree

  6. 6. Disagree

  7. 7. Extremely Disagree

Variable Name: Importance of Precedent and Activism (2012)

Question: State your agreement with the following statements:

Judges on my state’s highest court should …

Grid Rows:

Try hard to avoid overturning previously decided cases.

Strike down laws as unconstitutional if they disagree with them.

Response Options:

Grid Columns:

  1. 1. Strongly Agree

  2. 2. Somewhat Agree

  3. 3. Neither Agree nor Disagree

  4. 4. Somewhat Disagree

  5. 5. Strongly Disagree

Variable Name: Education

Question: What is the highest level of education you have completed?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Did not graduate from high school

  2. 2. High school graduate

  3. 3. Some college, but no degree (yet)

  4. 4. 2-year college degree

  5. 5. 4-year college degree

  6. 6. Postgraduate degree (MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, etc.)

(p.143) Variable Name: Race

Question: What racial or ethnic group best describes you?

Response Options:

  1. 1. White

  2. 2. Black or African-American

  3. 3. Hispanic or Latino

  4. 4. Asian or Asian-American

  5. 5. Native American

  6. 6. Middle Eastern

  7. 7. Mixed Race

  8. 8. Other (open textbox)

Variable Name: Party Identification

Question: Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a … ?

Response Options:

  1. 1. Democrat (follow-up: Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or a not very strong Democrat?)

  2. 2. Republican (follow-up: Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican?)

  3. 3. Independent (follow-up: Do you think of yourself as closer to the Democratic or the Republican Party?)

  4. 4. Other (open textbox)

  5. 5. Not Sure

Variable Name: Judicial Election Participation (2012)

Questions:

For contestable election states:

In the election for your state supreme court, the <insert supreme court name>, which candidate did you vote for?

  1. 1.

  2. 2.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

  5. 5. I voted in other elections, but I didn’t vote in this race.

  6. 6. I’m sure I voted in this race, but I can’t remember how I voted.

(p.144) For retention election states:

In the election regarding whether to retain <insert candidate name> as a judge on your state supreme court, the <insert supreme court name>, did you vote:

  1. 1. Yes, retain <insert candidate name> as a judge.

  2. 2. No, do not retain <insert candidate name> as a judge.

  3. 3. I voted in other elections, but I didn’t vote in this race.

  4. 4. I’m sure I voted in this race, but I can’t remember how I voted.