College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies



Primary Advisor

Bethany Conway, College of Liberal Arts Communication Studies Department


The purpose of this paper was to examine how news media convey the impact and severity of decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the voting rights of marginalized citizens. Specific articles that discussed the decisions of the cases were looked at using Entman’s framing theory (1993) and considering the watchdog perspective (Donohue et al., 1995). An inductive, thematic content analysis was conducted to find common themes throughout articles in the top five newspapers in the nation. Themes that emerged were (1) threats to voting, (2) politicization of the Court, (3) polarization, (4) watchdog perspective, (5) judicial activism, (6) vote security. The prevalence of the threat to voting theme was consistent with previous research regarding the impacts of the case decisions. Findings confirm the importance of public awareness of the Supreme Court’s role in the current political climate, as well as the severity of their decisions regarding voting rights.