Last Friday, we asked you to vote for your Favorite Supreme Court Justice.
Over 1,300 votes were cast. Here are the results:
Interesting! Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll. And thanks to SCOTUSblog and Professor Althouse for linking to the poll, which generated many votes.
Update: Vote for your LEAST favorite Supreme Court justice by clicking here.
Our random observations on the results, after the jump.
1. We share Professor Althouse’s reaction: we’re not surprised that Justice Antonin Scalia emerged victorious. He took a quarter of the votes, almost 10 percentage points ahead of his closest competition, Chief Justice John G. Roberts.
Before you accuse us of pro-Scalia bias, allow us to explain ourselves. We’re not saying Nino won because he’s the “best” justice; we think he won because he’s probably the justice who inspires the strongest feelings in people, positive or negative. If we had a poll asking for your LEAST favorite Supreme Court justice, Justice Scalia would probably “win” that one, too.
(Hey, good idea! We’ll put up a “Least Favorite Justice” poll shortly.)
2. Once Scalia is taken out of the picture, we share Professor Althouse’s other reaction: the voting was pretty close. The Chief Justice and Justice Stevens came in second and third, with 16 and 15 percent of the vote, respectively. They could be viewed as a “second tier” of justices.
The rest of the justices lagged behind them. Justices Thomas, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg formed a “Tier 3,” all clustered around the 10 percent mark.
The laggards, well, really lagged. Justice Kennedy and Justice Alito ended up with 3 and 2 percent of the votes, respectively. Ouch.
3. Seniority seems to have been a plus. Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Stevens, and Justice Scalia — the three most senior justices — took the top three spots.
We suspect that Justice Scalia grabbed the conservative votes, Justice Stevens grabbed the liberal votes, and Chief Justice Roberts grabbed the moderate votes (because the moderates probably just voted for the justice with the best looks and best resume, namely, JGR).
4. We’re a bit surprised that Justice Thomas and Justice Ginsburg didn’t do better.
Justice Thomas, the only African-American justice, has a strong and distinctive jurisprudence that many conservatives might find attractive.
Justice Ginsburg, now that Justice O’Connor has retired, is the only woman remaining on the Court. We expected that fact, coupled with her impressive resume and dramatic rise through the legal profession, to make her more popular.
What are your thoughts on these results? Feel free to share them in the comments.
Okay, time to go wait for the New Jersey Supreme Court gay marriage decision.
Who’s your favorite Supreme Court justice? [Althouse]
Blog Round-Up [SCOTUSblog]
Earlier: A Random Friday Poll: Your Favorite Supreme Court Justice