"Through extensive analysis of media coverage of the Court and its justices, Rorie Spill Solberg and Eric N. Waltenburg explain how journalists increasingly emphasize the personalities of individual justices rather than just ?the cult of the robe.? This ?cult of personality? emerges not only through profiles of the justices but also in docket coverage and reporting on the confirmation process.?This book is a must-read for scholars of the Court as well as everyone concerned about public perception of the Court and its impact on the Court?s role as an arbiter in American politics and society."?Richard Davis, Brigham Young University
"Solberg and Waltenburg's provocative study documents increasing media attention to personalities and politics in Supreme Court coverage, creating critical disconnects between objective reality and its media portrayal. Whether reporting on?confirmation hearings, the Court's docket, its landmark cases or the justices themselves, such media portrayal increasingly mimics that of the patently political co-equal branches with potentially damaging consequences for public understanding of the Court and acceptance of its work." ?Elliot E. Slotnick, The Ohio State University
"Solberg and Waltenburg's book on media coverage of the Supreme Court is the most comprehensive analysis to date. It covers confirmation hearings, the decisions, and the individuals on the Court in a careful and thoroughly engaging way, and convincingly reveals how media coverage affects public understandings (and misunderstandings) about the Supreme Court."?Valerie Hoekstra, Arizona State University
"Solberg (public policy, Oregon State) and Waltenburg (Purdue Univ.) examine media coverage of the US Supreme Court to ascertain the degree to which the old myth of the ?cult of the robe,? which stresses judicial objectivity, competes with the new myth of the ?cult of personality.? Using complex analyses of media coverage in leading outlets, the authors find that they increasingly stress personal and political differences among justices. ... The authors fear that media emphasis on judicial personalities could undermine belief in the justices? fairness but cannot prove that it has yet done so. More importantly, they do not report whether scholars, who long ago exploded the cult of the robe, have done better than the media in focusing on judicial reasoning rather than personalities or politics."
--J. R. Vile, Middle Tennessee State University