The Case of the Senate and the Court
Curt Levey’s organization, Committee for Justice, like others, is trying to make Americans more aware of the effects of the midterms on judicial composition. Judicial appointments have already come up in political ads, he says, and with the so-called nuclear option – jettisoning the judicial filibuster – the only way Republicans could fight Obama’s nominees would be to retake the Senate, he says.
On the other side of the political table, Marge Baker of the People For the American Way believes Americans are more aware of the court’s impact on their lives. Historically, Americans have held the Court in high regard, but in recent years, it’s faced a sustained drop in approval ratings. A Gallup poll from October 2013 showed that 46 percent of Americans approve of the court’s performance and 45 percent disapprove.
Baker believes that cases like Citizens United, in which the Court overturned restrictions on corporate campaign financing, have galvanized PFAW’s constituency. At any rate, that case has released the financing floodgates, and “people are going to feel the impact of the Court in these midterm elections in a way they hadn’t before,” says Baker.