by: Dr. Kevin Boully
The declining public opinion of many facets of American government was broad and deep during President Bush’s second term. Despite some indications of a rebound early in the Obama administration, publicly salient government officials and federal agencies continue to suffer public disapproval. For instance, after a troubling 2008 and a handful of highly visible scandals, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the most negatively viewed federal agency of the six included in our National Juror Survey, with 55% of respondents expressing an unfavorable opinion, compared with 46% of respondents expressing an unfavorable opinion towards the always-hated Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The percentage of potential jurors with unfavorable opinions has increased almost 20% from 2006.