State Watch

Supreme Court approval drops in wake of abortion ruling leak: poll

A majority of Americans disapprove of how the Supreme Court is handling its job, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.

A Marquette Law School poll found that 55 percent of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court’s performance — a 10 point jump since March — after a leaked draft opinion striking down the landmark decision legalizing abortion in the U.S. was published. Forty-four percent of respondents approved of the court’s job.

The poll found approval of the nation’s highest court is now more polarized along party lines than it was two months ago, reporting a 42 percentage point gap in approval between Republicans and Democrats. That gap was just 15 percentage points in March.

The pollsters began conducting the interviews a week after Politico published a leaked draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Opinion on Roe remained stable after the leaked draft opinion, with 31 percent of respondents favoring overturning the landmark decision while 69 percent opposed striking it down.

Although those preferences haven’t significantly changed, the poll found they have increased the growing divisions over the Supreme Court itself.

Approval of the court decreased by 20 percentage points since March among respondents who indicated they were opposed to overturning Roe, while approval increased by 19 percentage points for those reporting they favored striking down the decision.

The poll also found that 40 percent of respondents said they had read or heard a lot about the leaked draft opinion while 24 percent said they had read nothing at all. Those who favored overturning Roe were slightly more likely to have heard about the leak.

More Americans are also viewing the Supreme Court as a bit more conservative than in previous surveys, according to the poll.

Nearly a quarter of respondents — 23 percent — said they viewed the nation’s highest court as “very conservative,” an 8 percentage point increase since March. The percentage of respondents saying the court is “moderate” has fallen from 50 percent in September 2019 to 34 percent this month.

The Marquette Law School poll was conducted from May 9 to May 19, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Tags abortion rights Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito Supreme Court

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