Supreme Court

Supreme Court's Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low

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Welcome to the unpopular kids' table.

The Supreme Court's approval rating is at an all-time low following several high profile rulings on gay marriage, affirmative action, and voting rights.

In a national survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on June 28-29, Rasmussen found that "public approval of the court has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded in more than nine years of polling." Of the respondents, 30 percent held "poor" views of the Supreme Court. This compares to only eight percent who believe the court is "excellent" at its job and 20 percent who consider it "good."

If there's a silver lining for the judges, it's that 39 percent of the respondents gave a "fair" rating to the court and three percent were unsure. The polling center gave the data a margin of error is +/- three percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Rasmussen cites past polls to put the paltry approval rating in context:

These numbers are even weaker than the numbers recorded following the Supreme Court ruling upholding the president's health care law last year. Just before the court heard arguments on the health care law, 28% gave the justices good or excellent marks. However, disapproval was far lower than it is today.

Data from Rasmussen on the opinion of the Supreme Court over the last four years shows a marked drop in approval. Since 2009, conservative opinion has dropped 16 percent and moderate voters' opinion has dropped 30 percent, though liberal opinion has remained consistent. Even as recently as last week, 30 percent "gave the court good or excellent marks," according to the polling center.

It seems that just about every demographic feels antagonized by the court. Related polls provide insight into specific points of discontent:

Overall, 39% of voters now believe the court is too liberal, while 24% believe it is too conservative. 

[…]Currently, 43% believe the justice system is fair to most Americans, but only 32% believe it is fair to poor Americans. Forty-five percent (45%) feel the system is fair to black and Hispanic Americans. These numbers changed little over the past week.

Recent polling finds that 41% of American Adults believe that the Supreme Court is too hostile towards religions, while 15% believe it is too friendly. Thirty percent (30%) believe the balance is about right. 

The 2013-2014 session of the Supreme Court begins in October.