Americans aren’t impressed with US Supreme Court

July 9, 2014
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A recent national phone survey has found that a little more than a quarter of likely U.S. voters think the Supreme Court of the United States is doing a good or excellent job. The same amount rated the justices’ performance as poor.

The Rasmussen Report’s findings aren’t anything new, the organization says, noting that the figures are consistent with findings from the past year. Those polled by Rasmussen Reports have typically given low marks to the high court – the last time good or excellent marks for the justices were above 40 percent was in October 2009.  

A third of those recently polled say the high court is too liberal; 30 percent claim it’s too conservative.

Rasmussen Reports chalks up the low approval rates to the belief by many that the justices base their decisions on their own political agenda rather than the law.

Other highlights from the mid-June survey:

•    Republicans are the most critical of the court’s performance.
•    Women and middle-aged adults have the most positive opinion of the court.
•    Almost half of those polled believe it is fair for a U.S. senator to oppose a Supreme Court nominee because of political ideology or judicial philosophy.
•    Only 33 percent of those polled believe most judges in their rulings follow the letter of the law.

You can view more data from the report at Rasmussen Report’s website.

These surveys asking people about the U.S. justices sound like a broken record. Last year, Reader’s Digest released a list of the “100 Most Trusted People in America” and TV Judge Judith Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy, was more trusted than all of the U.S. justices.  A 2012 Gallup poll said a majority of Republicans think the court is too liberal and more than a third of Democrats saw the court as too conservative.

As many surveys point out, people’s opinions can be swayed by the rulings issued by the justices, as was the case in 2012 with the health care rulings.


 

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  • hmm
    Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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