Poll: Most Americans say they trust Supreme Court

Poll: Most Americans say they trust Supreme Court
© Greg Nash

A large majority of Americans trust the Supreme Court to act in the best interest of the public and don’t believe that the institution has too much power, according to a new poll.

The survey, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that 68 percent of U.S. adults have a great or fair amount of trust in the nation’s top court and 70 percent say that it has “about the right amount of power.”

But the poll also found that more than half of Americans (57 percent) say that the Supreme Court can get too “mixed up in politics.”

Still, the broad faith in the court among Americans could make it hard for some Democrats to make the case for reforming the institution by expanding the number of seats or imposing term limits on the justices.

On Tuesday, Democratic presidential primary candidates were asked about potential court reforms during a televised debate. Just one, Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' Buttigieg to join striking South Carolina McDonald's workers next week MORE of South Bend, Ind., explicitly called for adding more justices to the bench, also known as “court packing.”

Others, like Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg unveils billboards to troll Trump ahead of campaign stops John Legend joining Warren in South Carolina next week: report MORE (D-Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, were more wary about the idea but said they were open to potentially reforming the court out of concern that a conservative majority could overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that enshrined abortion rights in the U.S.

Despite Republican-appointed justices holding a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court, the Annenberg poll found that 63 percent of respondents said that it is “sometimes liberal, sometimes conservative depending on the law and facts of the case.” Just 19 percent said they see the court as generally conservative.

The poll surveyed 1,104 U.S. adults from Aug. 16 to 27. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.