At the Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett highlights a new USA Today/Gallup poll which finds that a majority of Americans disapprove of the Obama administration's health care overhaul. As the Gallup description reports, "Americans overwhelmingly believe the 'individual mandate,' as it is often called, is unconstitutional, by a margin of 72% to 20%."
Let's assume these numbers are accurate. Will they matter to the nine justices of the Supreme Court when they actually vote on the individual mandate's constitutionality later this term? As the old saying goes, the justices do follow the election returns. Plus, as Barnett observes, if the numbers are correct, "these results do suggest that the Court is unlikely to face a strong backlash should it hold the individual mandate unconstitutional." We'll see.