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A record low 25 percent of Americans have confidence in the Supreme Court: poll

The US Supreme Court is seen behind fences in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

  • In a recently-released Gallup poll, only 25% of respondents had confidence in the US Supreme Court.
  • While 13% of Democrats had confidence in the court in June, Republican confidence sat at 39%.
  • The court last week overturned Roe v. Wade in one of the most important decisions in decades.

A record low number of Americans in a new Gallup poll say they have confidence in the US Supreme Court.

Only 25 percent of respondents in the survey expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Supreme Court, compared to 40 percent of respondents in 2020 and 36 percent just last year.

Among Democrats, only 13 percent of respondents said they have confidence in the court — and that was before the blockbuster ruling which struck down Roe, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure.

The survey was conducted from June 1-20 and was completed before the court issued major rulings. The poll was released a day before Roe v. Wade was overturned.

While many progressives in the party have called on President Joe Biden to back expanding the size of the court, he has expressed opposition to such a proposal.

Activists and liberal lawmakers alike were deeply frustrated by former President Donald Trump’s ability to appoint Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, especially given then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to block Merrick Garland’s 2016 nomination to the high court and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election loss to Trump. (Garland is now the US Attorney General.)

Independents also remain largely unimpressed with the conservative-dominated panel, with only 25 percent of survey respondents expressing confidence in the court, down from 40 percent in 2021.

And despite the rightward shift in recent years, only 39 percent of Republicans expressed confidence in the high court this year, up slightly from 37 percent in 2021 but down significantly from 53 percent in 2020.

In recent years, legal experts have debated the issue of Supreme Court term limits.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released in April 2021 revealed that 63 percent of Americans supported term limits for high court justices.

In the coming days, cases involving everything from climate change regulations to immigration will be decided, in what has been the most consequential Supreme Court session in decades.

At the conclusion of the current term, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the high court after 28 years on the bench, to be replaced by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this summer.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,015 adults from June 1 through June 20 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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