The Supreme Court’s job approval dipped to 49 percent following the first term in which former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE’s nominees accounted for a third of the justices, a new poll shows.
The court's approval among Americans fell 9 points compared to the previous year, according to the polling firm Gallup, which noted it is the first time since 2017 that the court’s rating dipped below the 50-percent mark.
The court's just-ended term included landmark rulings on voting rights and the First Amendment, and offered a glimpse of the 6-3 conservative majority court's rightward shift, which was more restrained than some conservatives would have preferred.
Strikingly, both Republicans and Democrats gave identical approval ratings of 51 percent, continuing a recent trend showing little variation in partisan assessments of the court, despite its ideological lopsidedness.
“Bare majorities of both parties approve of the high court, perhaps because it has handed down rulings that have alternately pleased and frustrated both sides of the ideological spectrum,” Gallup wrote in an analysis of its new poll. “The mix of rulings may have helped keep Republicans from viewing the court as a conservative ally, or Democrats from perceiving it as too ideologically extreme.”
Among independents, 46 percent said they approved of the court’s job.
The term that ended earlier this month was the first in which Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettAre COVID-19 vaccine mandates a strategy to end the pandemic? New Hampshire state representative leaves GOP over opposition to vaccine mandate Barrett: Supreme Court 'not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks' MORE, Trump’s third nominee, filled the seat left vacant by the death last September of liberal stalwart Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgTo infinity and beyond: What will it take to create a diverse and representative judiciary? Justice Ginsburg's parting gift? Court's ruling on Texas law doesn't threaten Roe — but Democrats' overreaction might MORE.
Some court watchers say next term could reveal even more about the true extent of the court’s rightward trajectory given the politically explosive cases already on the docket, and be more politically influential given the 2022 midterms on the horizon.
In the term that begins in October, the court will review Mississippi’s ban on virtually all abortions after 15 weeks, which the state’s attorney general urged the justices to use as a vehicle to overrule Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion. The justices will also consider a major Second Amendment case and could take up a dispute over affirmative action.
The Gallup poll surveyed a random sample of 1,007 adults ages 18 or older from July 6 to July 21. It had a margin of sampling error of 4 percentage points.