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.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Political science, Communication & Media studies|
|Keywords:||Polarization, MSNBC, Fox News, Supreme Court, Partisan News, Framing|