US Supreme Court’s Approval Hits All-Time Low

Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams

More than half of adults in the United States say they lack trust in the federal government’s judicial branch and nearly three-fifths disapprove of the way the U.S. Supreme Court is doing its job, according to survey results released Thursday, as the negative ramifications of opinions issued this summer by the high court’s reactionary majority continue to reverberate.

Just 47% of U.S. adults have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the federal judiciary, Gallup found. “This represents a 20-percentage-point drop from two years ago, including seven points since last year,” and is six points lower than the previous record low of 53%, the polling firm noted. “The judicial branch’s current tarnished image contrasts with trust levels exceeding two-thirds in most years in Gallup’s trend that began in 1972.”

In addition to record low trust in the federal judiciary, the new poll, which was conducted September 1-16, found that a record high percentage of U.S. adults (58%) say they disapprove of how the Supreme Court is handling its job. A record-tying low (40%) say they approve.

During its last term, the high court’s right-wing majority eliminated the constitutional right to abortion care, opening the door to further attacks on rights long safeguarded by the 14th Amendment’s substantive due process clause; weakened gun restrictions; undermined the separation of church and state; eroded hard-won civil liberties; and curbed the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, potentially gutting federal regulatory power in general.

In a separate indicator of how Americans perceive the Supreme Court—based on a June poll taken before the decision overturning Roe v. Wade was handed down but after a leaked draft opinion signaled the right-wing majority’s intentions—Gallup found that confidence in the nation’s chief judicial body had dropped to an all-time low, with just 25% of U.S. adults expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the court, down from 36% the year before.


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