Polls Show Waning Support for the Supreme Court As Presently Constituted
May 15, 2020
A Marquette School of Law survey found that 52 percent of “very conservative” respondents have high confidence in the Supreme Court, compared to 31 percent of “very liberal” voters. About 80 percent of all respondents possess at least “some” confidence in the Court, and of the three branches of government, 57 percent find the Supreme Court most trustworthy, compared with 22 percent for Congress and 21 percent for the president. The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center conducted a similar poll, and found a less rosy view of the Supreme Court. Almost 60 percent agree with the statement that the court “gets too mixed up in politics.” And just half of the respondents hold the view that the justices set aside their personal and political views and make rulings based on the Constitution, the law and the facts. A large majority of Americans have taken a dim view of court packing since FDR’s failed proposal to add six justices to the Supreme Court in 1937, but that is changing. The Marquette poll found 43 percent in support of adding justices, with Democrats evenly split and Independents favoring the idea by a small margin. In what might be seen as a rejection of the sitting justices, term limits for Supreme Court justices drew support from 72 percent of Marquette’s respondents, with no notable difference between conservatives and liberals.
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