Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

THE IMPACT OF THE BLACK MEDIA ON DIFFUSE SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

  • Mintao Nie (a1) and Eric N. Waltenburg (a1)

Abstract

Previous research suggests that the mainstream media’s portrayals of the U.S. Supreme Court as an objective and impartial institution contribute to its diffuse support among the public. This study explores what happens if people are not exposed to these messages, relying instead on information sources that portray the Court and its justices as being politically oriented and motivated. We use the 2003 Blacks and the U.S. Supreme Court Survey data and coarsened exact matching to examine the effect of exposure to the Black media, whose reports are less likely to include legitimizing symbols of the Court. We find that exposure to the Black media significantly lowers people’s diffuse support for the Court among both Blacks and Whites. This result indicates that differences between Blacks and Whites with respect to their diffuse support for the Court are likely to be a function of the informational environment to which they are exposed rather than race per se.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Mintao Nie, Department of Political Science, Purdue University, 100 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: niem@purdue.edu

References

Hide All
Adarand v. Pena (1995). 515 U.S. 200.
Afro-American Red Star (1995). The Court and Affirmative Action. June 24, A4.
Baird, Vanessa A., and Gangl, Amy (2006). Shattering the Myth of Legality: The Impact of the Media’s Framing of Supreme Court Procedures on Perceptions of Fairness. Political Psychology, 27(4): 597614.
Banks, Samuel (1995). Dr. Samuel Banks On: A Return to Separate & Unequal Treatment. Afro-American Red Star, July 22, A5.
Bartels, Brandon L., and Johnston, Christopher D. (2013). On the Ideological Foundations of Supreme Court Legitimacy in the American Public. American Journal of Political Science, 57(1): 184199.
Bartels, Larry M. (1993). Messages Received: The Political Impact of Media Exposure. American Political Science Review, 87(2): 267285.
Bay State Banner (1995). A Compelling Challenge. June 22, 4.
Biskupic, Joan (1995). Court’s Conservatives Make Presence Felt; Reagan Appointees Lead Move Rightward. The Washington Post, July 2, A1.
Blackwell, Matthew, Iacus, Stefano, King, Gary, and Porro, Giuseppe (2009). cem: Coarsened Exact Matching in Stata. The Stata Journal, 9(4): 524546.
Boyd, Christina L., Epstein, Lee, and Martin, Andrew D. (2010). Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging. American Journal of Political Science, 54(2): 389411.
Browne, Irene, Delia Deckard, Natalie, and Rodriguez, Cassaundra (2016). Different Game, Different Frame?: Black Counterdiscourses and Depictions of Immigration in Atlanta’s African-American and Mainstream Press. The Sociological Quarterly, 57(3): 520543.
Caldeira, Gregory A., and Gibson, James L. (1992). The Etiology of Public Support for the Supreme Court. American Journal of Political Science, 36(3): 635664.
Casey, Gregory (1974). The Supreme Court and Myth: An Emprical Investigation. Law & Society Review, 8(3): 385420.
Christenson, Dino P., and Glick, David M. (2015). Chief Justice Robert’s Health Care Decision Disrobed: The Micro-Foundations of the Court’s Legitimacy. American Journal of Political Science, 59(2): 403418.
Clawson, Rosalee A., “Neil” Strine, Harry C. IV, and Waltenburg, Eric N. (2003a). Framing Supreme Court Decisions: The Mainstream versus the Black Press. Journal of Black Studies, 33(6): 784800.
Clawson, Rosalee A., Tate, Katherine, and Waltenburg, Eric N. (2003b). Blacks and the U.S. Supreme Court Survey. National Science Foundation SES #0331509.
Clawson, Rosalee A., and Waltenburg, Eric N. (2009). Legacy and Legitimacy: Black Americans and the Supreme Court. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Davis, Richard (1994). Decisions and Images: The Supreme Court and the Press. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Davis, Richard (2011). Justices and Journalists: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Media. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Dawson, Michael C. (2001). Black Visions. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Dolan, Mark K., Sonnett, John H., and Johnson, Kirk A. (2009). Katrina Coverage in Black Newspapers Critical of Government, Mainstream Media. Newspaper Research Journal, 30(1): 3442.
Easton, David (1965). A Systems Analysis of Political Life. New York: Wiley.
Easton, David, and Dennis, Jack (1969). Children in the Political System: Origins of Political Legitimacy. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gibson, James L., and Caldeira, Gregory A. (1992). Blacks and the U.S. Supreme Court: Models of Diffuse Support. Journal of Politics, 54(4): 11201145.
Gibson, James L., and Caldeira, Gregory A. (2009). Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations: Positivity Theory and the Judgments of the American People. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gibson, James L., and Caldeira, Gregory A. (2011). Has Legal Realism Damaged the Legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court? Law & Society Review, 45(1): 195219.
Gibson, James L., Caldeira, Gregory A., and Baird, Vanessa A. (1998). On the Legitimacy of National High Courts. American Political Science Review, 92(2): 343358.
Gibson, James L., Lodge, Milton, and Woodson, Benjamin (2014). Losing, but Accepting: Legitimacy, Positivity Theory, and the Symbols of Judicial Authority. Law & Society Review, 48(4): 837866.
Gibson, James L., and Nelson, Michael J. (2015). Is the U.S. Supreme Court’s Legitimacy Grounded in Performance Satisfaction and Ideology? American Journal of Political Science, 59(1), 162174.
Gibson, James L., and Nelson, Michael J. (2016). From Ferguson’s Streets to Washington’s Marble Arches: Experiences with Legal Authorities, Group Identities, and African American Perceptions of Legal Legitimacy. Unpublished Manuscript, Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis.
Gratz v. Bollinger (2003). 539 U.S. 244.
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). 539 U.S 306.
Ho, Daniel E., Imai, Kosuke, King, Gary, and Stuart, Elizabeth A. (2007). Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reducing Model Dependence in Causal Inference. Political Analysis, 15(3): 199236.
Huspek, Michael (2004). Black Press, White Press and Their Opposition: The Case of the Police Killing of Tyisha Miller. Social Justice, 31(1/2): 217241.
Huspek, Michael (2010). ‘From the Standpoint of the White Man’s World:’: The Black Press and Contemporary Media Scholarship. In Huspek, M. (Ed.), Oppositonal Discourses and Democracies, pp. 155173. New York: Routledge.
Iacus, Stefano M., King, Gary, and Porro, Giuseppe (2011). Multivariate Matching Methods That Are Monotonic Imbalance Bounding. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 106(493): 345361.
Iacus, Stefano M., King, Gary, and Porro, Giuseppe (2012). Causal Inference Without Balance Checking: Coarsened Exact Matching. Political Analysis, 20(1): 124.
Jacobs, Ronald N. (1996). Civil Society and Crisis: Culture, Discourse, and the Rodney King Beating. American Journal of Sociology, 101(5): 12381272.
Johnston, Christopher D., and Bartels, Brandon L. (2010). Sensationalism and Sobriety: Differential Media Exposure and Attitudes Toward American Courts. Public Opinion Quarterly, 74(2): 260285.
King, Gary, and Zeng, Langche (2006). The Danger of Extreme Counterfactuals. Political Analysis, 14(2): 131159.
Klapper, Joseph T. (1960). The Effects of Mass Communication. Glencoe, IL: The Free Press.
Los Angeles Sentinel (1995). Supreme Court Deals Potentially Crippling Blow to Affirmative Action. June 21, A1.
Mastin, Teresa, Campo, Shelly, and Somjen Frazer, M. (2005). In Black and White: Coverage of U.S. Slave Reparations by the Mainstream and Black Press. Howard Journal of Communications, 16(3): 201223.
New Pittsburgh Courier, City Edition (1995). Black America Should Create Own Affirmative Action. July 8, A6.
New York Amsterdam News (1995). Cong. Owens Calls Clarence Thomas a Danger to African-Americans. July 15, 9.
Prior, Markus (2005). News vs. Entertainment: How Increasing Media Choice Widens Gaps in Political Knowledge and Turnout. American Journal of Political Science, 49(3): 577592.
Prior, Markus (2009). Improving Media Effects Research through Better Measurement of News Exposure. The Journal of Politics, 71(3): 893908.
Ricci v. DeStefano (2009). 557 U.S. 557.
Richardson, John D., and Lancendorfer, Karen M. (2004). Framing Affirmative Action: The Influence of Race on Newspaper Editorial Responses to the University of Michigan Cases. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 9(4): 7494.
Scheb, John M., and Lyons, William (1999). Diffuse Support, Specific Support and Attentiveness: Components of the Public’s Assessment of the Supreme Court. Southeastern Political Review, 27(4): 765780.
Scheb, John M., and Lyons, William (2000). The Myth of Legality and Public Evaluation of the Supreme Court. Social Science Quarterly, 81(4): 928940.
Solberg, Rorie Spill, and Waltenburg, Eric N. (2014). The Media, the Court, and the Misrepresentation: The New Myth of the Court. New York: Routledge.
Spill, Rorie L., and Oxley, Zoe M. (2003). Philosopher Kings or Political Actors: How the Media Portray the Supreme Court. Judicature, 87(1): 2329.
Squires, Catherine R. (2012). Coloring the Bubble: Perspective from Black-Oriented Media on the (Latest) Economic Disaster. American Quarterly, 64(3): 543570.
Stroud, Natalie Jomini (2008). Media Use and Political Predispositions: Revisiting the Concept of Selective Exposure. Political Behavior, 30(3): 341366.
Stroud, Natalie Jomini (2010). Polarization and Partisan Selective Exposure. Journal of Communication, 60(3): 556576.
Towner, Terri L., and Clawson, Rosalee A. (2014). News Coverage of the Supreme Court Docket. In Davis, R. (Ed.), Covering the United States Supreme Court in the Digital Age, pp. 4260. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Towner, Terri L., Clawson, Rosalee A., and Waltenburg, Eric N. (2006). Media Coverage of the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Decisions: The View from Mainstream, Black, and Latino Journalists. Judicature, 90(3): 120128.
Tyler, Tom R., Fagan, Jeffrey, and Geller, Amanda (2014). Street Stops and Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments in Young Urban Men’s Legal Socialization. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 11(4): 751785.
Vercellotti, Timothy, and Brewer, Paul R. (2006). “To Plead Our Own Cause”: Public Opinion Toward Black and Mainstream News Media Among African Americans. Journal of Black Studies, 37(2): 231250.
Wang, Qian, and Armstrong, Cory L.. (2012). Black Newspapers Focus More on Community Affairs Stories. Newspaper Research Journal, 33(4): 7890.
Wilson, Angela (1995). The Recent Blow Against Minority Businesses: Supreme Court Weakens Federal Programs Assisting Minorities. The Skanner, June 21, 1.
Wolseley, Roland E. (1971). The Black Press, U.S.A. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.
Zaller, John R. (1992). The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Nie and Waltenburg supplementary material 1
Online Appendix

 Word (73 KB)
73 KB

THE IMPACT OF THE BLACK MEDIA ON DIFFUSE SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

  • Mintao Nie (a1) and Eric N. Waltenburg (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed