Court Battles

Majority of Americans say Supreme Court is ‘out of touch’: poll

Abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington
Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Abortion rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

A majority of Americans say the Supreme Court is “out of touch,” according to a poll released Friday by Monmouth University.

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed say that the high court is out of touch with the “values and beliefs” of the public, compared to 34 percent who said the court is in touch.

An overwhelming majority of Democrats polled — 82 percent — said the Supreme Court is out of touch with the American public. Sixty-two percent of independents said the same.

Just 32 percent of Republicans said the court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, was out of touch.

The most recent survey results come just days before the court is expected to start a new session and months after the court ended federal protections for abortion by overturning the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade.

The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization outraged Democrats and has emerged as a key midterm issue.

“The Supreme Court was not on the radar for many Americans until this summer. Recent decisions have moved some from being on the fence to having a negative opinion of the court,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

According to the Monmouth poll, there has been a sharp climb in negative views of the court in the past few months.

The latest poll showed 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job the Supreme Court is doing and 37 percent approve. A March poll from Monmouth showed an even split, at 42-42 percent.

Among Democrats, 81 percent said in the most recent poll they disapproved of the court, compared to 54 percent in March. In March, 37 percent of independents disapproved of the court compared to 54 percent disapproval currently.

However, among Republicans, disapproval of the Supreme Court declined since March, from 36 percent to 28 percent.

In addition, 66 percent of the American public is supportive of term limits for Supreme Court justices. Currently, justices are appointed by a president for life, or until they decide to step down.

“As it stands, most Americans are uncomfortable with lifetime appointments to the court, but this is not something they are really thinking about. If a term limit proposal actually entered the public debate, I expect Republican opinion would move against it based on the impact it could have on the court’s current ideological leaning,” Murray said.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 25 among a 806 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Tags abortion rights Patrick Murray Roe v. Wade Supreme Court

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