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.”

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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 ButtigiegButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field 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 WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' 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.