03:28 GMT +326 October 2016
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is seen during a group portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, in this file photo taken October 8, 2010.

    Doomed: A Third of Americans Never Heard of SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia

    © REUTERS/ Larry Downing
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    A shocking poll from Gallup reveals that while Americans familiar with the controversial and recently deceased United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were nearly split in their opinion of him, nearly a third of the US population has no idea who he was.

    The poll, conducted last year, during Scalia’s 29th year as a Supreme Court justice, found that 29% of those answering the survey held favorable views of the justice, while 27% viewed him unfavorably. More telling was the statistic that 32% of those polled were not aware of the man often referred to as "the most influential justice of the last quarter-century.”

    The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has the final say on heated political issues including abortion, civil rights, same-sex marriage and immigration, so it was thought to be telling that the American public was not familiar with an important figure of that court.

    Scalia had a polarizing personality, and extremely conservative views. He voted twice to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and strongly opposed gay marriage and Affirmative Action. Despite his consistent dissent against liberal issues, his unfavorability rating among Republicans had been on the rise.

    In 2005, 36% of American conservatives viewed Scalia favorably, versus only 7% who held an unfavorable view. By 2015, Scalia's favorable rating with conservatives dropped slightly to 34%, but his unfavorable rating had risen to 26%. Gallup Poll Senior Editor Jeff Jones surmised last year that this may have more to do with overall conservative dissatisfaction with the court, and less to do with Scalia’s votes.

    The poll revealed that overall faith in the court was dropping. When Scalia assumed his position in 1986, 54% of Americans had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, but when polled last June, confidence was at 32%.

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    • Zhukov
      In 10 years or 20 at most, the US will have a law code book very similar or parallel to 1930s fascist Italy's.
    • jas
      Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how Scalia was some great defender of the common man. He seemed happy to thrive in the crony capitalist jungle like the others.

      But now the "patriot movement" says Scalia was whacked because he was a risk.
    • art
      I think its dangerously negligent to compare survey results over years without taking into account the horrendous demographic changes in the country.

      Stop by a convenient store and ask directions for a place. If the store attendant is white looking, he will likely tell you: go straight, right before the second intersection, the yellow building to your right. If its a non-white looking, he will more likely tell you he doesn't know, even its two blocks down the road, even he has owned the store for years. Different demographic groups care and know about different things.

      Decreased number of people knowing about Scalia or supreme court might just be the sign of changes in demography than any sophisticated talk about the changes in political landscape.
    • Mother Gorilla
      Now we know where the Poles got their recent court trick from, brake progress in the courts, but it isn't very effective!
    • rasojin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Scalia enabled the building of a fascist police state in the US. He was only a risk to constitutional rights and freedoms.
    • Ann in reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, What makes you think it is the "patriot movement" that thinks he was whacked?
    • Vera Narishkin
      He was an evil SOB. I remember him saying a few years ago that any prisoner on death row who had exhausted all appeals and for whom incontrovertible evidence turned up after that which proved his or her innocence still had to be executed. How evil is that?
    • vendor
      They would have known of him had he run his own TV reality show.
    • terryjohnodgersin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, I think you need to read some of his judgements as to why he voted against the government before you make comments like that.
    • terryjohnodgers
      This man's death should have been treated as suspicious. At the very least an autopsy should have been performed as there is no evidence this man was under any medical doctor's supervision for any life threatening ailment. In short, his death was unexpected and any unexpected death has to be investigated by law!

      One my look at how Obama received the 'news' of this man's death at to what has really gone down.
    • Randall Lee Hilburn
      No doubt there was an assassination. Determination of the cause of death without an autopsy or witness and the deceased found with a pillow over his head, leaves no doubt. But the Obama connection is just too bloody obvious for my liking. It has to be for some other reason. It is possible that he knew it was coming but I don't believe he was the one calling the shots.
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