36% Give U.S. Supreme Court Positive Ratings on Job Performance

Supreme Court Update

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Just over one-third of voters continue to have a positive view of the U.S. Supreme Court which is expected to rule any day now on the constitutionality of President Obama’s national health care law.  

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 36% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the Supreme Court’s performance as good or excellent.  Seventeen percent (17%) say the high court is doing a poor job.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The latest findings show little change from mid-May.  Positive marks for the Supreme Court are down slightly from April’s recent high of 41% following its highly publicized hearings on the legal challenges against the health care law. The new findings are above results measured from June of last year through March. The last time good or excellent marks for the high court were above 40% was in October 2009, the start of the court’s first session with Justice Sonya Sotomayor.  

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision by the end of the month, and most voters hope the health care law is overturned.

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This national survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on June 13-14, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters believe the Supreme Court is too liberal, while 25% it is too conservative.  Another 29% say the court’s ideology is about right.  Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.  These findings show little change since regular tracking on this question began in July 2009. 

Obama has appointed Justices Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in his presidency.  Forty-five percent (45%) say justices nominated by Obama are too liberal, while just four percent (4%) think they’re too conservative.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) feel the ideology of the president’s nominees is about right.  Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.  These results, too, are consistent with past surveys.

Republican voters have a more positive view of the high court than Democrats and voters not affiliated with either major party.

The Political Class has a slightly more favorable opinion of the Supreme Court’s performance compared to Mainstream voters.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Republicans think the overall high court is too liberal, while 44% of Democrats believe it’s too conservative.  Unaffiliated voters have mixed feelings.

Most GOP voters (83%) say justices nominated by Obama are too liberal, but 69% of Democrats believe the ideology of these justices is about right.   Among unaffiliated voters:  36% say too liberal, five percent (5%) too conservative and 41% about right.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only. 

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This national survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on June 13-14, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection,
publication and distribution of public opinion information.

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Scott Rasmussen,
president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.

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