Justice

Poll: Fewer Americans Than Ever See The Supreme Court Positively

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear one of the most politicized lawsuits in decades, a new poll finds that public support for the nine justices has cratered:

[F]ewer voters than ever view the high court positively. . . . The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 28% give the Supreme Court good or excellent ratings. Nineteen percent (19%) rate the highest court in the land as poor.

Admittedly, this poll was conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a conservative polling firm with a history of inaccuracies. Nevertheless, Rasmussen’s finding is consistent with other polls showing that Americans increasingly believe that, despite the fact that the justices’ very legitimacy stems from their ability to apply the law fairly and independent of partisan concerns, the Court’s decisions are driven in large part by politics.

Certainly, the Supreme Court’s five conservatives have done nothing to disabuse the American people of this unfortunate perception. To the contrary, the Roberts Court has consistently pushed an ideological agenda from the bench — often despite decades of precedent to the contrary:

So it is easy to understand why the American people are increasingly skeptical of a conservative Supreme Court that appears much more interested in advancing a political agenda than it does in applying the law. Next week, the justices can either show that they are still capable of respecting the Constitution by applying the nearly 200 years of precedent establishing that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, or they can reveal themselves to be nothing more than politicians in robes by accepting an anti-health care argument that, in the words of conservative Judge Laurence Silberman, has no basis “in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent.”