The three branches of government rely on public engagement for the prosperity of the nation. Moreover, informed public opinion is a fundamental tenant of democracy. With that in mind, this paper aims to explore the relationship between the Judicial Branch and the public. Specifically, this paper examines and questions the Supreme Court’s efficacy communicating with the public. American constituents are inundated on a daily basis by the clamor of D.C. politics. The twenty four hour news cycle has given way to politicized headlines and exaggerated pundit commentary on contentious national issues. In a technological age where information is instant and the public has become accustomed to soundbites for education, the Supreme Court is left out of place. Both the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch converse directly with the public when necessary. Politicians frequently address their constituents or discuss complicated issues with voters first hand. However, the Supreme Court has rejected this strategy and instead relies almost exclusively on the press to relay their decisions. The judicial branch is the only third of our government without constant communication to the American people. As a result, the judiciary is relatively ignored by its citizens. By discussing a number of landmark cases since the turn of the century, this paper aims to analyze how those decisions were both announced to the public by the media and how the public received them. The Court has certainly adopted the press as an agent of communication. But is the media truly the proper outlet for the Court’s rulings?
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Pitchman, Adrien, "The Forgotten Third Branch: The Supreme Court, Public Opinion, and the Media" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1848.