Supreme Court Approval Mired Near Record Low: Survey

Most Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court's handling of its job, according to a new survey.
Supreme Court Approval Mired Near Record Low: Survey
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Sept. 18, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Zachary Stieber

Americans' approval of the Supreme Court remains near a record low, according to a new survey.

Just 41 percent of adults in a Gallup survey said they approve of how the Supreme Court is handling its job.

That's slightly above the 40 percent record low.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents approved of the Supreme Court's job in July 2020, but the approval sharply dropped in 2021. Ever since September 2021, it has not gone above 43 percent.

The new poll was conducted over the telephone from Sept. 1 to Sept. 23. A random sample of 1,016 adults were surveyed. The margin of sampling error was plus/minus four percent.

Another 58 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the Supreme Court's job, with the remaining 2 percent saying they have no opinion on the matter.

Democrats were the most likely to disapprove. Three-quarters of Democrat respondents disapproved, compared to 59 percent of independents and 42 percent of Republicans.

Respondents were also asked if they trusted the Judicial Branch, which is headed by the Supreme Court.

About half of respondents said they trusted the court at least a fair amount while another half said they trusted it not very much or not at all. The former was slightly higher than the 47 percent from the previous survey.

Asked if the current Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or just about right, 42 percent of respondents said it is just about right, followed by 39 percent who believe it is too conservative, and 17 percent who said it is too liberal. The rest had no opinion. The percentage describing it as too conservative was a record high.

Democrats were the most likely not to trust the court or say it is too conservative. Most Republicans expressed trust and believe the makeup is just about right.

The court is currently composed of six justices appointed by Republican presidents, including three justices appointed under former President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden has appointed one justice. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment.

The court often draws criticism and praise for its decisions, which can impact millions of Americans. One of its most consequential decisions in recent years was the ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, delivering the ability to regulate abortion back to the states.

Gallup has surveyed people on the Supreme Court for decades.

Other Recent Polls

Other polls have also recorded lower Supreme Court approval.
In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in June among 1,776 adults, with a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points, just 28 percent of respondents said they approve of the Supreme Court. A majority, 58 percent, said they disapprove.

Many respondents said they believe the Supreme Court is primarily motivated by politics, versus being primarily motivated by the law, and a majority said they favor limiting the number of years a justice can serve.

Democrats were far more likely to disapprove of the Supreme Court's handling of its job, say the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics, and favor term limits. Most Republican respondents approved of the court's job, though GOP majorities said the court is primarily motivated by politics and favored setting term limits.

A Marquette Law School poll conducted in the spring among 1,000 adults, with a margin of error of plus/minus 3.7 percentage points, also found that 41 percent of respondents approved of how the Supreme Court was handling its job, compared to 59 percent who disapproved.

Similar to the other polls, most Republicans expressed approval of the nation's top court, while most Democrats and independents disapproved of the court's job.

Most respondents also said that they think the honesty and ethical standards of the court are average or very high. Just 26 percent said they are high or very high.

Correction: A previous version of this article inaccurately stated the number of justices President Biden has appointed. It is one. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
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