AirTalk for October 1, 2009

The Supreme Court and public opinion

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 08: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor (C) poses with her mother Celina (L), stepfather Omar Lopez (2nd L), sister-in-law Tracey (4th L), and brother Juan (R) during a photo-op after an investiture ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court September 8, 2009 in Washington, DC.

For decades, America’s most intense social, legal and political conflicts have been playing out in the courts. Did the framers of the Constitution intend for federal judges to play such an important in determining the lives of Americans? In his new book “The Will of the People” author and legal scholar Barry Friedman argues that the Court has always been subject to the higher power of public opinion.


Barry Friedman, author of The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution; Vice Dean and Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law

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