SCOTUS Poll: A Nation Divided

Today would have been a good day to write about World Cup soccer because I watched (and dozed off) during the match between Germany and Argentina yesterday. I kind of like soccer the same way I like Olympic swimming and gymnastics. Once these events are over, I normally don’t pay too much attention to them until the next Olympics.

So thanks World Cup for killing some time for me this summer, but the World Cup column will have to wait – maybe forever.

Many people don’t pay too much attention to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) until June of each year when they release their decisions. Then we forget about them unless a high-profile case is heard.

Gallup recently released the results of their SCOTUS poll that was conducted the second week of July. Gallup reported, “Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving.”

I’m thinking that Congress must be pretty jealous of SCOTUS having approval ratings almost four times higher than theirs. The approval rating for Congress in April was 13%.

Many years ago most people could only name one or two justices on the court, but with social media and cameras and microphones everywhere, we now know more about the court and those who sit on it more than ever. Plus, the Justices seem to be out and about more which has kind of removed the cloud of secrecy surrounding the court. I think judges overall are respected less than ever before.

Just imagine if SCOTUS was on live TV and the justices gave press briefings after every case that came before them.

The Gallup poll also found that Republicans seem to like the Court more this year than last, probably because a week or so before the poll was taken, the court ruled on Hobby Lobby. In 2012, 29% of Republicans disliked the court probably because of the ruling on Obamacare, but 68% of Democrats approved of the court after that ruling.

I’m thinking that the days of overall approval ratings for the U.S. Supreme Court being around 60% are long gone. We are down on all branches of our government big time and it may never get better.


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