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 August 4, 2023

Supreme Court approval ratings remain at catastrophic levels

The U.S. Supreme Court received a 40% approval rating in a Gallup poll conducted for the month of July, The Hill reported. This number has remained mostly at this record low since September of last year. 

The survey was conducted by phone with 1,015 participants from July 3-27. It reflects opinions following the closing of the court's 2022 active term.

Prior to the summer recess, the Supreme Court issued several important decisions that reflect a more conservative court. It recently ruled that business owners were free to decline customers with same-sex attraction on the basis of free speech.

The court also struck down President Joe Biden's student loan handout that he rammed through to buy votes. It also issued a landmark decision that abolished affirmative action considerations in college admissions.

Notably, the court made other rulings that were more on the left-leaning side. The Supreme Court upheld the Voting Rights Act, which in turn forced Alabama to throw out its new congressional map. At the same time, the high court claimed the legal system had no role in redistricting.

Still, the court's low ratings began in September 2021. There was a slight recovery in July 2022, with the court receiving 43% approval which quickly slid back to 40% in September 2022.

A more granular examination of these ratings reveals that approval for the court's actions falls along party lines. When broken down between Republicans and Democrats, the court received 62% and 17% approval, respectively.

Gallup has been tracking approval for the court since 2000. Back then, 62% of those polled approved of the job it was doing.

Those numbers fell between 2017 to 2021, with overall approval at 49% or more. However, the Supreme Court's decision to allow a Texas heartbeat abortion bill to stand likely began to chip away at approval numbers.

It didn't help that the court decided in June 2022 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that abolished bad precedent but that didn't sit well with many Americans. In fact, a postmortem from Politico detailed exactly how Democrats picked up votes because of it in the 2022 midterms.

"On Election Day, voters in critical states like Michigan and Pennsylvania ranked abortion — not inflation or crime — as the most important issue in the midterms, according to exit polls," the news outlet asserted. "The red wave never arrived," it said of earlier predictions that Republicans would sweep Congress.

"Instead, Democrats gained a seat in the Senate, and Republicans, badly underperforming expectations, barely took back the House. Democrats also held onto a slew of governor’s mansions, from Wisconsin to Oregon, that otherwise may have slipped out of reach, and won control of four legislative chambers. Republicans failed to flip a single one," Politico reported.

What the Supreme Court decided had a direct impact on election outcomes, but the court itself is not supposed to be a political body. The justices are appointed for life by the sitting president as vacancies occur.

This is supposed to leave the integrity of the court intact even as politics becomes more divisive. Unfortunately, the left has used the court to do its bidding in the past, and the fact that opinion polls are even taken reflects that fact.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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