Poll offers insight into Americans' perceptions of SCOTUS

June 14, 2012
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A recent poll shows that 44 percent of Americans approve of the way the Supreme Court of the United States is handling its job. What’s also telling is how many people responded that they don’t know.

The majority of people polled between May 31 and June 3 for a New York Times/CBS News poll  said the country is on the wrong track and disapprove of the job Congress is doing. In each of those areas, 6 percent and 9 percent respectively either didn’t answer the question or didn’t know the answer.

When it came to approving or disapproving of the job the Supreme Court justices are doing, 20 percent didn’t know the answer or said it’s not applicable. A fifth of the people answering didn’t have the ability to answer that question. I interpret that as they have no idea what is going on with our Supreme Court, despite the news that it generates when high-profile cases like the health care law and Arizona immigration challenges are heard.

Perhaps allowing cameras into the courtroom would change that, but that’s a topic for another day.

According to the NYT, public approval of the nation’s highest court has gone down through the years – in the 1980s it was as high as 66 percent; in 2000, approval was around 50 percent. I wonder if they had decided Bush v. Gore yet when the poll was conducted.

Even though 20 percent couldn’t say they approve or disapprove of the Supreme Court’s job, only eight percent didn’t know or couldn’t answer the question as to whether the current justices decide their cases based on legal analysis alone or if they sometimes consider their personal views. Three-fourths of respondents believe the justices sometimes are influenced by their personal and political views.

Another interesting point – 60 percent think it’s a bad thing that justices have lifetime appointments. Only 33 percent support lifetime appointments.
 

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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