John Roberts
John Roberts

The Court of Public Opinion doesn't have a very high regard for the US Supreme Court, as 53 percent of Americans disapprove of how it is doing its job, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Less than four-in-ten (39 percent) of the respondents approve of the Court’s performance.

The survey found that 58 percent of respondents disapprove of the Court’s June 24 ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v Wade.

Only 46 percent of Americans have a great deal/fair amount of trust in the Court, which is down from 68 percent in 2019.

Fifty percent of respondents believe the justices “are just like any other politicians” and cannot be trusted to decide cases in a way that is in the best interest of the country.

Speaking at a conference last month, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded a tad defensive.

“You don’t want public opinion to be the guide of what the appropriate decision is… But simply because people disagree with an opinion is not a basis for criticizing the legitimacy of the Court,” he said.

But the public does want the Court to respect and decide cases based on long-standing precedent such as the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the Supreme Court’s image is in the dumps.

The question for Roberts: Have you lost control of the Court?

The Supreme Court on Oct. 13 earned a modicum of respect by rejecting an “emergency request” for Donald Trump to intervene in his fight over the classified documents seized by the FBI at his Mar-a-Lago camp. He wants a special master to review the purloined papers.

Imagine the uproar had the Court caved to the guy who installed three of its justices. There would have been cries of payback across the land.

Profile in courage… Vladimir Kara-Murza, Washington Post contributor and Russian politician, has earned the Council of Europe’s 2022 Vaclav Havel Prize for defending human rights in Russia.

He is a leader of the opposition to Vladimir Putin and co-founder of the Russian Anti-War Committee that was formed following the invasion of Ukraine.

Kara-Murza was arrested in April, charged with treason and distributing “fake news” and jailed. He faces years in prison.

His wife, Eurenia, accepted the Havel award on Oct. 10 during the plenary season of the parliamentary assembly of the COE in Strasbourg, France.

She delivered his speech, which focused on Putin’s war on truth.

“Since February, Russia’s independent media outlets have been silenced; the authorities have imposed near-total censorship of the Internet and social media; whole new hastily passed laws have criminalized public opposition to the war with up to 15 years of imprisonment,” said Kara-Murza.

He praised the courage of the 19K people detained by police for anti-war protests and the 4K people who have been charged for speaking out against the war.

“Families now have to live without their spouses, their parents or their children because their loved ones have refused to be complicit in the evil perpetrated by their government,” he said.

Kara-Murza looks forward to returning to Strasbourg when a “peaceful, democratic and Putin-free Russia” is readmitted to the COE. “Even today, in the darkest of hours, I firmly believe that time will come.”

Kara-Murza was a colleague of opposition leader Boris Nemtov, who was assassinated by Russian security forces on a bridge near the Kremlin in 2015.

He has worked for the BBC, RTVi, Kommersant and hosted a radio show on Echo of Moscow.

Plenty of coal in Christmas stockings... AlixPartners projects that retailers are in line for a four to seven percent boost in holiday shopping sales compared to the 2021 period.

With inflation running in the eight percent range, the forecast translates into a decline in real sales.

Consumers plan to buy cheaper brands and plan to shop later in the year. Forty-six percent of shoppers plan to start buying holiday gifts before Halloween. That’s down from 53 percent last year.