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      Judicial tyranny or American justice? How partisan news’ coverage of polarizing Supreme Court decisions differs in framing the nation’s highest court

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          Abstract

          The U.S. Supreme Court is isolated from the public, yet dependent on high levels of public support to maintain its legitimacy. Due to its distance, the media has great control over how the nation’s highest court is presented to the public. Partisan news outlets cater their stories to audiences with distinct ideological beliefs, reinforcing them while opposing opposite beliefs. This can lead to partisan polarization, which has previously been exclusive to the political realm. However, recent polls have revealed an existing party gap in the Supreme Court’s level of public support, which implies a politicization of the judiciary branch. When the Supreme Court appears to be just another political institution or simply an extension of the other two governmental branches, its integrity is greatly impaired, and, as a consequence, the public’s confidence in the Justices is likely to deteriorate. This study analyzes Fox News’ and MSNBC’s news coverage of two pollogical stance aligns with the Court’s decision, the Supreme Court is presented as an apolitical institution, whereas it is politicized when the decision is contrary the channel’s partisan stance. This implies that the partisan divide, once only common to the political realm has now reached the judiciary.

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          Motivated skepticism: Use of differential decision criteria for preferred and nonpreferred conclusions.

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            Polarization and Partisan Selective Exposure

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              Understanding and Validity in Qualitative Research

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                SOR-SOCSCI
                ScienceOpen Research
                ScienceOpen
                2199-1006
                15 September 2016
                : 0 (ID: 5bed7b81-a589-45b1-a015-e7bbd57a6240 )
                : 0
                : 1-23
                Affiliations
                John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Department of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author’s e-mail address: l.a.matthia@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                3826:XE
                10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-SOCSCI.AYUSLA.v1
                © 2016 L. Matthias

                This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 6, References: 112, Pages: 23
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