Show Notes: The State of the Supreme Court’s Legitimacy

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Risa Goluboff, Greg Mitchell and James L. Gibson
S5 E5: The State of the Supreme Court’s Legitimacy

Political scientist James L. Gibson discusses his survey data suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court lost some legitimacy in the eyes of the public after overturning Roe v. Wade.

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Show Notes: The State of the Supreme Court’s Legitimacy

James L. Gibson

James L. Gibson is the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government at Washington University in St. Louis. After teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and the University of Houston, Gibson joined Washington University in St. Louis in 1999, where he is also professor of African and African American Studies. In South Africa, he holds the position of Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at Stellenbosch University.

Gibson has published well over 100 refereed articles and chapters, in a wide range of national and international social-scientific journals, including all of the leading political science journals. He has also published 11 books, including the award-winning “Overcoming Apartheid: Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation?” In 2009, Cambridge University Press published his “Overcoming Historical Injustices: Land Reconciliation in South Africa.” His three South African books – “Overcoming Apartheid,” “Overcoming Historical Injustices,” and “Overcoming Intolerance in South Africa” (co-authored with Amanda Gouws in 2004) – trace the evolution of South Africa’s democracy in the post-apartheid era, and have become known as Gibson’s “overcoming trilogy.” His “Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations: Positivity Theory and the Judgments of the American People” (co-authored with Gregory A. Caldeira) was published in 2009 by Princeton University Press.

Gibson’s substantive interests include research currently in progress on public reactions to the trials of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, political intolerance and perceptions of freedom in contemporary American political culture, public reactions to the conflict-of-interest/recusal/campaign contributions controversy in which the West Virginia Supreme Court was recently embroiled (Caperton v. Massey), public attitudes toward the filibuster, and a project on the impact of the symbols of judicial authority on citizens’ perceptions of law and courts. This latter project is currently focusing on how African Americans react to these symbols. In 2011, Gibson received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.

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