Supreme Court Sinks To 15-Year Low In Popularity, Hits 50 Percent Disapproval Rating


A Gallup poll conducted from September 9-13, 2015, and released on October 2nd, finds that the U.S. Supreme Court has reached a new low in the court of public opinion. Gallup has tracked the court’s approval ratings since 2000, and the September 2015 survey marks the court’s worst approval numbers in those fifteen years of polling.

50 percent of American disapprove of the court’s job performance, compared to just 45 percent who approve of the court’s work. Despite the court’s 5 to 4 conservative majority, Republicans hold a much more negative view towards the court than Democrats do. High profile rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare, where the court deviated from its conservative reputation to deliver improbable victories for the Obama administration, ruined the court’s standing with Republicans.

Only 26 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the Roberts’ court, compared to 67 percent of Democrats who view the current court favorably. 42 percent of Independents hold a favorable opinion of the Roberts’ court.


Public opinion has seen a fairly consistent partisan divide in how the Supreme Court is viewed, since Gallup first began tracking the court’s approval rating in 2000. However, which party approves and disapproves of the court has fluctuated based on how the court has ruled on major decisions.

Presidential appointments have also significantly influenced partisan perceptions of the court. Throughout the Bush presidency, Republicans gave the Supreme Court higher marks than Democrats. However, shortly after Barack Obama became president, GOP voters changed their tune, and decided they disliked the Supreme Court.

While the Supreme Court still ostensibly holds a 5-4 conservative majority, Republicans seem to be dismayed with the addition of thoughtful Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the court. They would much rather see the court packed with right-wing ideologues and right-wing ideologues only.

By contrast, Democrats seem content with the court having a conservative majority, as long as the court occasionally deviates from right-wing orthodoxy to give liberals and centrists a few victories over the course of its tenure. The ideological rigidity of dogmatic Republicans contrasted with the flexible pragmatism of Democrats, has created a strange dynamic. Democrats approve of the conservative court, despite its many faults, because it has made some good decisions in the past year.

Conservatives, on the other hand, despise the court, because it doesn’t give them their way on every single ruling. For Republicans, the conservative Roberts’ court simply isn’t dogmatic enough to protect their fragile right-wing sensibilities from affronts to their dignity, like allowing people to have health insurance and to marry who they love.

21 Replies to “Supreme Court Sinks To 15-Year Low In Popularity, Hits 50 Percent Disapproval Rating”

  1. Listening to the rhetoric from the Reich nothing will satisfy them until they could march every non white Christian into the ovens.

  2. The only reason why the GOP has a 26% favorble of the SCOTUS is because of their OBAMACARE and MARRIAGE EQUALITY rulings.

    I just read an ignorant tea bagger who stated they didn’t like the SCOTUS making laws.
    The SCOTUS doesn’t make laws, they make RULINGS based upon the constitution.

    I wish the ignorant tea baggers/repubs would learn how our government works???

  3. DICK CHENEY For House Speaker!
    They are serious:

    “I am, of course, referring to Dick Cheney. And, yes, I am suggesting he be the next Speaker of the House.

    “The Constitution does not require the House speaker to be an elected House representative (which is why some have already suggested Newt Gingrich return – not a bad idea, but I think Cheney would be even better)”.

  4. Two decisions from June account for the lower GOP rating:
    SCOTUS rules the PPACA (“Obamacare”) Constitutional yet again….
    Same-sex marriage was ruled Constitutional.

  5. See, that’s the thing about the supreme court. Short of a major crime in office a supreme court justice is on the bench until they die or retire!

    They could have a 100% disapproval rating and it wouldn’t matter. They don’t care about what the citizenry of the US think about them because they don’t have to. They can’t lose their job.

    And with modern medicine (and who can tell what the future will bring on that front) a justice can conceivably live to 110 or more. Put a person on the bench in 2020 and he/she will probably serve until 2060 or later.

    The supreme is the ultimate power, that’s why it’s such a bitter fight to get somebody appointed to it.

    I believe that citizens united will someday be thought of as a decision as bad a Dred Scott, and John Roberts neither knows or cares. I believe this court will be judged as the most biased in 200 years.

  6. and its the reason scotus is also disliked – the ACA guarantees everyone can get medical care at an afordable pride rather then dying or etc

    so the rethugs with their mandate of protecting life hate the idea of the ACA

    why – because their most reliable voting base is the old confederacy, many of whom still think the south should have won the civil war

    re the marriage ruleing – I met a gay college student from the south – he told me about and its real – southern hospitality – part of the culture

    I asked him if anyone in his family or friends circle their knew he was gay

    ans “are you kidding” – I’d be ostracized at best thrown out of my family etc

    btw here is a pastor in generally liberal md speaking about gay people before he 2012 referendum

    the guy would do well as a kluxer- until they lynched him for other reasons

    note that the people who were enslaved by the southen baptists – the slaves pick up & put the hat…

  7. but cheers for it re the ACA and the marriage decison. ACA 6-3, marrige 5-4

    dont like gays marrying no one will force you to marry one

  8. Uhh..Oven march, gas chambers, intentional starvation, Charles, David, Koch agenda..we’ll..skip the oven march & gas chambers, ok, “intentional starvation” is a close analogy of the Koch agenda, via Republicans. The bastards wanted to cut SNAP funding $400 Billion=Intentional starvation. They didn’t have a SNAP program available near those gas chambers in Germany the 1st time they intentionally starved Jewish human beings & their children. The other day, “Token” mentioned that Hitler’s wishes could happen here in the U.S. Now that’s a huge stretch for Token, mind’s as sharp as a marble & wants to be smart as Prez Obama, it’ll never happen. Damn those 2 German descendants! And they’ve hired Republicans to repeat Hitler’s evil legacy. They’ve even tried to invade Women’s bodies uninvited. Right on the money DJ, they’d like to start baking people. Our star NAZI, John Beohner wants to be one of us, but he turned Orange instead. What a disaster that was. He appeared to be from F…

  9. The answer is Vote Democratic! Hillary Clinton is the candidate we can trust to appoint well chosen scholars to the Court. We cannot have another right wing freak put on the Supreme Court by the GOP or this country will be doomed.

  10. GOOD Supremes: Same Sex Marriage, Obamacare upheld…
    BAD Supremes: Hobby Lobby, Citizens United…
    {Only picked top 2 o’ each category…on first cup o’ coffee…lol}

  11. I daresay that, unlike Congress, they are at least still more popular than Brussels sprouts without hollandaise sauce.

  12. I guess this sort of tells you one of the main present-day differences between liberals and conservatives. Liberals are willing to do a reasonable amount of give-and-take, whereas conservatives are determined that they always have to have their way about everything.

  13. I am old enough to remember locally grown Brussels sprouts, a delicate pleasure. Today, many of them resemble embossed green ping-pong balls. Indeed, I have a colleague so filled with horror by them that he screams if I send him a picture from a seed catalogue, a reaction not mitigated even by the prospect of good hollandaise.

  14. The Shelby County case that undid the voting rights protections in the south was a serious mistake, as well.

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