Disparaging the Supreme Court: Is SCOTUS in Serious Trouble?

Brian Christopher Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The piece argues that the Court is now subject to the widest and most sophisticated disparagement it has ever experienced, and that the tumultuous terms over the past two years have especially shown its vulnerability. Journalists and the general public are now thinking and speaking about the institution in a much different light than previously, and a deeper conversation about the proper role of the Court, especially in regard to constitutional review, has only just begun. Also, the piece argues that the justices’ disparagement of each other has contributed to this wider criticism, and that the recent health care and same-sex marriage decisions significantly exposed this problem. If such disparagement continues, an increase in popular constitutionalism or departmentalism may be inevitable. Additionally, lower federal courts and state courts may start carving out their own constitutional paths that run contrary to Supreme Court precedent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalWisconsin Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2015


  • Disparagement
  • US Supreme Court
  • Constitutional Interpretation
  • Departmentalism
  • Popular constitutionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science


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