More than one-third of Americans aren’t satisfied with the U.S. Supreme Court and would even consider abolishing it, according to a study that shows the country’s distaste of its justice system has sharply increased in recent years.
A study conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania released Monday drew deep concern from the center’s director about the findings.
Roughly 34% of Americans somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that “it might be better to do away with the court altogether” if it “started making a lot of rulings that most Americans disagreed with.” That’s an increase from 20% in 2019.
Similarly, 38% of Americans –increased from 28% in 2018 – somewhat agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that when Congress disagrees with the court’s decisions, “Congress should pass legislation saying the Supreme Court can no longer rule on that issue or topic.”
“Respect for judicial independence appears to be eroding,” said APPC director Kathleen Hall Jamieson in the report. “The willingness of more than 1 in 3 Americans to entertain the idea of abolishing the court or stripping jurisdiction from it is alarming.”
The poll results come on the heels of a contentious year, the study says.
APPC’s poll was conducted in September following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 refusal to block a Texas abortion law that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Former Hoosier judge and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett appeared before the University of Louisville in the aftermath of that decision, informing the audience that her goal was to convince them “that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
When it comes to party leanings, 37% of Americans said that justices “are more likely to make rulings that reflect the political leanings of the presidents who nominate them.”
However, 59% of respondents said they believe the justices set aside their personal and political views and rely on the U.S. Constitution, the law, or the facts of the case. That’s an increase from 49% in 2019.
Those justices individually visited Indiana’s Notre Dame Law School last month to speak with students, both delving into the public perceptions of the Supreme Court.