ASU professor writes book about the Supreme Court

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Joseph Russomanno, professor at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, is a media law scholar and an ASU professor. He wrote a book called “The ‘Stench’ of Politics: Polarization and Worldview on the Supreme Court.” It is a critical analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court. It examines various systemic challenges confronting the Court. And in the book, he proposes ideas for how to meet those challenges.

What does Worldview mean?

“Worldview is the foundation of this book; it’s a concept from political science that two political scientists in particular established and fleshed out in a book of their’s. What I’ve done with this is to take their concept and apply it to the Supreme Court,” said Russomanno.

“What they mean is that every one of us has a Worldview, and we largely fall into one of two categories, what they call fixed or fluid. Everything we do is guided by our Worldview, not just politics but things like what restaurants we go to, what coffee we drink, where we choose to live,” he explained.

What happened to the Supreme Court?

“The Supreme Court, I contend and other scholars concur with this, has become as political as the institution across the street from it, The U.S. Capitol where Congress resides. The Supreme Court for decades now, at least five or so, has been molded and shaped to become a political weapon,” said Russomanno.

Can this be changed?

“If we accept the notion that the Supreme Court has been politicized, then one solution, maybe the ultimate solution, is to do what we can to depoliticize it. Look at the selection process of justices and the confirmation process of justices, from the very beginning we have a political process run by politicians that is the height in many ways,” he explained.

Russomanno suggests that we make the Supreme Court similar to the other federal courts, which would increase the number of justices; however, nine would still be present for every case.

Joseph Russomanno, Ph.D/Professor at ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

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