Pew Poll: Supreme Court More Unpopular Than Ever

Wednesday, 02 May 2012 10:19 AM

By Martin Gould

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Faith in the Supreme Court has dropped off considerably, with only just over half of Americans now viewing the nation’s highest legal authority favorably, a new poll shows.

The survey was conducted just after hearings about the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Just 52 percent of adults like the court now, way down from the 80 percent that viewed it favorably back in 1994, the survey by the Pew Research Center found. It is the lowest approval rating Pew has found in 25 years of surveys.

The poll among 3,008 adults showed Republicans have a slightly higher view of the court than Democrats or Independents, a sharp change from the last time the poll was conducted during Justice Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings in 2010, when Democrats had a more favorable view of the court.

“There are virtually no partisan differences in views of the Supreme Court,” Pew reported. It said 56 percent of Republicans, and 52 percent of both Democrats and independents rate the Supreme Court favorably.

“The decline in court ratings has occurred across party lines over the past three years,” Pew said, pointing out that Republicans’ ratings fell off with the appointments of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Kagan, while Democrats’ views have dropped since.


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