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Just 37% of Americans approve of the Supreme Court, an all-time low for the judicial body: poll

Business Insider
Business Insider
Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett speaks to an audience at the 30th anniversary of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville on September 12, 2021.
  • Just 37% of Americans approve of how the Supreme Court is handling its job, while 49% disapprove.
  • That's a 15-point drop from last year, before the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett and a recent abortion ruling.
  • The Quinnipiac University poll also found that 67% of Americans agree with Roe v. Wade.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page .

A new Quinnipiac University poll indicates that just 37% of Americans approve of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job, the lowest rating registered by the polling firm since they began tracking in 2004.

49% of Americans disapproved, while 13% had no opinion. Predictably, views on the nation's highest court vary based on party affiliation; 47% of Republicans said they approved of how the court was handling its job, while 40% said they disapproved.

Meanwhile, 62% of Democrats disapproved, along with 47% of self-identified independent voters.

That's a 15-point drop from over a year ago, when 52% of Americans said they approved of the way the court was handling its job in July 2020.

The new low in approval ratings comes in the wake of a controversial ruling on abortion, where a majority of the court's conservative justices declined to block a new Texas law that effectively bans abortion from going into effect and outsources its enforcement to fellow citizens.

"A majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand," wrote Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her dissenting opinion to that ruling.

Meanwhile, the same Quinnipiac poll showed that Americans continue to agree with Roe v. Wade, which established the right to an abortion, by 67% to 27%.

As negative impressions of the court grow, some justices have sought to push back. Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, speaking at the McConnell Center in Louisville, Kentucky while sharing a stage with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , said the court "is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks."

And Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal, recently published a new book in which he argues that the Supreme Court remains a nonpartisan institution.

The Quinnipiac University poll , conducted from September 10 through 13, included 1,210 adults nationwide and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

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Joe Galati

too bad the court is not bound by the constitution but by politics


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