After finding out your Favorite Supreme Court Justice (answer: Justice Scalia), we asked about your LEAST Favorite Supreme Court justice. And the result was surprising, at least to us.
Voter turnout was massive, with over 6,000 votes cast. Maybe everyone’s in a voting frame of mind, with Election Day so close. Here’s how you voted:
The “winner”: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with a whopping 40 percent of ballots cast. Second place went to Justice David H. Souter, with 19 percent of the vote.
Thank you to the voters — all 6,000 of you. And thanks to everyone who linked to the poll, especially Glenn Reynolds, Ann Althouse, and Jason Harrow (of SCOTUSblog).
We have a few cursory observations on these results, which appear after the jump.
1. We previously predicted that Justice Antonin Scalia, because he’s such a polarizing figure, would “win” the Least Favorite Justice prize (just as he won Most Favorite Justice). But we were wrong. Justice Scalia was never in serious contention for this distinction.
2. Early in the poll, Justice Clarence Thomas was in the lead. This was understandable. We say this not because we don’t like CT — nothing could be farther from the truth — but because we could see how liberals might pick him as their least favorite jurist. They might despise Justice Scalia, but they could give him grudging respect as a writer and thinker. He’s funny, he’s charismatic, and he’s a tiger at oral argument. Justice Thomas, because he’s so quiet on the bench, could be more easily dismissed as disengaged or insufficiently intellectual.
3. Then ATL got Instalanched, and everything changed. Within hours, Justice Ginsburg shot into the lead — where she remained for the rest of the contest. Justice Souter took second, and Justice Thomas, the early leader, wound up third.
4. We’re surprised that Justice Ginsburg ran away with this one. Even assuming a right-leaning electorate (thanks to the Instapundit link), why not Justice Souter, who “betrayed” the conservatives who put him on the Court? Or Justice Stevens, another Republican appointee who didn’t turn out as expected — and who refuses to step down from the Court, despite his advancing age? Or Justice Kennedy, the fickle swing voter, who could give the conservatives real control, if only he fell into line?
5. The least disliked justices: Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. No surprises here. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are, of course, the newest members of the Court. As such, they haven’t had a chance to piss off everyone yet.
What are your thoughts on these results? Feel free to share them in the comments.
Least Favorite Supreme Court Justice [Instapundit]
Who’s your least favorite Supreme Court justice? [Althouse]
Blog Round-Up [SCOTUSblog]
Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: Your LEAST Favorite Supreme Court Justice