Supreme Court’s popularity heading pretty much where you’d expect

posted at 2:31 pm on July 21, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

I was listening to Speaker Boehner on Face the Nation this morning and he was asked what he thought about the dismal popularity of Congress among Americans. His rather candid response was that he wasn’t surprised and that one of the chief reasons was that we currently have divided government and a nation which is also split up into two camps. Fortunately for us, we have one branch of the federal government which is supposed to be above partisan divisions and politics… the Supreme Court. So their popularity should go unscathed by this, right? Not so much.

After an important term in which the U.S. Supreme Court made landmark decisions on cases involving voting rights, gay rights, and affirmative action, the institution’s approval rating has declined to its lowest level since June 2005. Forty-three percent of Americans now approve of the Supreme Court, down six percentage points from September of last year. Slightly more Americans disapprove of the court (46%) than approve, which has happened only one other time since Gallup first asked this question in 2000.

Before going any further, it’s worth noting the raw numbers here. While a drop of 6% is not the direction you want to be heading in, 43% is still a pretty shocking approval rating for anyone or anything associated with Washington. What’s the approval rating of Congress these days? Is it even in double digits? Sad though it may be to say, having an approval rating at that level in 2013 is probably something they could lord over pretty much anyone else in that town. Still, they’re feeling the sting of decreased public approval, and over at Outside the Beltway, Doug thinks that shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Given the number of controversial cases that the Court has taken on in recent years, this probably isn’t entirely surprising. Just in the last two or three terms, there has been enough in the Court’s decisions to annoy people on both sides of the political aisle be it the Obamacare decision, the Voting Rights Act decision, or DOMA. However, as I argued last year in connection with a similar poll, the real cause for the loss of public confidence in what remains the least political branch of the Federal Government has less to do with specific decisions and more to do with a general decline in trust for public institutions

I don’t think this is something sudden, shocking or new. If there was ever a time when people were less concerned with or suspicious of partisan motivations in the courts – and I’m enough of an old fool to believe there was – it wasn’t really because conditions were radically different than they are today. We can’t pretend that presidents were ever unconcerned with cementing their legacies by appointing “the right sort of judges” to the courts, though it didn’t always work out the way they might have predicted. (*cough* Kennedy *cough*) But I do think the way that the public received their information – and to a certain extent, their opinions – on what the court was doing, which justices voted for which, etc. has evolved a great deal. And like so many other things, this is a direct result of the growth of new media, an increased appetite for “inside baseball” details of government affairs and the fall of the traditional media gatekeepers. We probably wouldn’t have been much bigger fans of the court in 1950 than we are today… we just weren’t getting fed that many details or analysis and weren’t paying as much attention.

Would general opinions of the court change for the better if this president or any future one began replacing many of the members in massive numbers? Not likely. You’d still have roughly half the country who didn’t like them and about an equal number who would want to like them but would frequently wind up being disappointed anyway. Such is life in modern America.


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…none of them are wearing pants…under the robes!…it’s the weekend!

KOOLAID2 on July 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM

raw

KOOLAID2 on July 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

I guess a lot of them might not get re-elected then!…

oh wait ._____.

Drunk Report on July 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

What else would one expect from a gaggle of old, out of touch lawyers?

rplat on July 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Roberts, go to Hell.

Bush, go to Hell.

obama, go to Hell.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Maybe soon, we’ll mature long enough to realize that allowing a handful of very political lawyers dressed in the robed camouflage of objectivity, while dispersing anti-constitutional pap, just isn’t working.

I say disband the entire concept of justice by lawyers until America is able to return to insisting upon people of character and truth as the basis for government.

That time, due to the willful destruction of our culture by chasing immoral ends, will never again come and to think otherwise is sheer folly. We are a nation divided against itself and its Creator.

Will the last man to read the constitution do us all a favor and burn the worthless thing?

Don L on July 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

It is time for a constitutional convention.

Theworldisnotenough on July 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

One would think the ultimate goal of a Supreme Court in a republic would be to limit the power of the government law, not increase and expand it.

Skywise on July 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I guess a lot of them might not get re-elected then!…

oh wait ._____.

Drunk Report on July 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

.
I was going to say something similar, but I like your wording better.

Dittos.

listens2glenn on July 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Before going any further, it’s worth noting the raw numbers here. While a drop of 6% is not the direction you want to be heading in, 43% is still a pretty shocking approval rating for anyone or anything associated with Washington.

Well, here’s another side note: What is the popularity of Government in general Jazz?

Not just the Fed but State govt too? I’m sure it won’t be exactly the same, but the numbers from such a poll also would be telling.

BlaxPac on July 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

It is time for a constitutional convention.

Theworldisnotenough on July 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I suspect we would not like the result.

Midas on July 21, 2013 at 2:49 PM

But I do think the way that the public received their information – and to a certain extent, their opinions – on what the court was doing, which justices voted for which, etc. has evolved a great deal.

I think there is a lot of truth in the above theory but I also believe that is only one factor. Another, IMO, is that we have had years of 5-4 decisions along partisan political lines in an institution that prides itself on being above politics. The judicial system does not work well when every single freakin’ issue comes down to a swing vote- sometimes from afield like Benedict Roberts delivered Obama a huge win and Americans a huge loss over socialized medicine even as the popularity of Obamacare continues to fall.

This too is a part of the crisis of trust Americans have in their government. It is more pronounced in the Executive Branch scandals and the Congressional gridlock but the Judicial too is becoming seen as untrustworthy.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2013 at 2:51 PM

One would think the ultimate goal of a Supreme Court in a republic would be to limit the power of the government law, not increase and expand it.

Skywise on July 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Not when the commie four cite international law and not the US Constitution as the basis of their decisions.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

One more rightie to get sick or to die…and you know when the funeral of the USA will be.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

The incompetent gang in black… who illegitimately declared Obamacare “legal” as a “tax” … had the case been properly adjudicated would have require the SCOTUS to send the brief back to the lower courts, and not “approve” it when and how they did.

Since, correctly, it would have required being implemented FIRST as a tax, and THEN a tax protestor would need to object to that formulation, who would bring a suit, which would ULTIMATELY reach the Supreme Court AGAIN, where it could then be correctly ruled on in the right legal sequence.

That these treacherous idiots, Roberts the Lead Treacher, aborted the legal process, and we all suffer their impeachable offense and legal malfeasance.

profitsbeard on July 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

One more rightie to get sick or to die…and you know when the funeral of the USA will be.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Had a chance to fix that in 2012….but didn’t.

So a little late to cry about it now…because you KNOW Romney would have been worse.

/sarc

BlaxPac on July 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Well, here’s another side note: What is the popularity of Government in general Jazz?

Not just the Fed but State govt too? I’m sure it won’t be exactly the same, but the numbers from such a poll also would be telling.

BlaxPac on July 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I know this is not a very up-to-date concept, but the very notion that something done right equates to public approval is anathema to reality.

The Government sole job is to interpret the constitution and laws made by other branches of government and decide if they comply–nothing else.

Don L on July 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

[The Weeping Boner's] rather candid response was that he wasn’t surprised and that one of the chief reasons was that we currently have divided government and a nation which is also split up into two camps.

LOL. The problem is that we DON’T have divided government. Boner and the rest of his cowardly, treasonous gang of retards in the GOP House have helped Barky and the America-hating left carry out pretty much every single America-killing policy they’ve desired. Now, instead of running impeachment proceedings against Barky for his un-Constitutional dicktatorial reign over the fate of illegals (laws be damned!) and personally granting legalization to his little NIGHTMARERS, Boner and the House idiots (along with the worms in the GOP part of the Senate) are trying to outdo Barky in the anti-Americanism and anti-nation-state insanity.

Boner is an idiot who needs to be tossed from the Weepership, ejected from Congress, deported from the nation and blasted into orbit around Pluto.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The Government sole job is

Shud be The court’s sole job…

Don L on July 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Had a chance to fix that in 2012….but didn’t.

So a little late to cry about it now…because you KNOW Romney would have been worse.

/sarc

BlaxPac on July 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

There will be a special place in hell for those who proudly didn’t vote for Mitt because, you know, there wasn’t any differnce between his positions and those of the rat-eared mullato.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

In a possible plea for/against Double Jeopardy for Zimmerman in the future, it will be interesting to see how the feds get around the fact that it was through the efforts of the DOJ that there was a special prosecutor to have any trial of George Zimmerman. Going for another prosecution of Zimmerman may be too much for the Appeals Courts to shallow.

J_Crater on July 21, 2013 at 3:08 PM

wha da ya spect……. da “good & plenty” clause of the Constitution finally ran it’s course…. so ObumbleCare makes it on da power to TAX….. yep….. ya git taxed if ya don’t do want the leviathan demands. Ya git taxed for dong nut’n……

yep….. America deserves it…. and deserves it good and hard.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on July 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Judicial review isn’t working so well. Hasn’t for a long time. There was the Lochner era,, but then again there was Wickard~vs ~ Filburn.

They haven’t been the stalward they were designed to be. Probably never will be again.

It rest squarely on thier shoulders.

wolly4321 on July 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

You’d still have roughly half the country who didn’t like them and about an equal number who would want to like them but would frequently wind up being disappointed anyway. Such is life in modern America.

Funny but I rarely see the libs disappoint. Say what you want about them (libs), but it is “our” supposed side that goes through great contortions to pull rulings out of their ass. Since Eisenhower, repub nominees jump right up and fuk us virtually every chance they get. Good guys were kept off the supreme court thanks to Teddy Kennedy and his repub fluffers.

arnold ziffel on July 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

When the Supreme Court legislates from the bench putting their political wants before the law, they should not be surprised to be considered and treated as the lowest order of corrupt politicians.

One of jobs assigned to the Supreme Court is to protect the people from the government. Not only have they have failed miserably in this regard, they are actively on the side of big government pushing tyranny on the American people.

RJL on July 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

There will be a special place in hell for those who proudly didn’t vote for Mitt because, you know, there wasn’t any differnce between his positions and those of the rat-eared mullato.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2013 at 3:04 PM

LOL…

Although to be fair…aren’t we giving mulattoes a bad rap now?

Think I said this during the election; *Maybe* Romney is/was the worse choice, but you KNOW how the last 4 years were…how the hell do you think the next 4 were suddenly going to be Reagan Part III?

Not to mention, there WILL be a opening again on SCOTUS, no matter how much they may try to hold on. Any takers that the next nominee will NOT be another entrenched Progressive shill?

BlaxPac on July 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Ah, I daydream of the day when Conservatives break off and we start our own nation, with a bullet-proof Constitution with a term-limited Supreme Court.

Decoski on July 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Ah, I daydream of the day when Conservatives break off and we start our own nation, with a bullet-proof Constitution with a term-limited Supreme Court.

Decoski on July 21, 2013 at 3:28 PM

…daydream?…he11!…that’s a wetdream!

KOOLAID2 on July 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

John Roberts hardest hit. Thought he was doing the popular thing by saving Obamacare.

Fu*king sniveling coward and historical illiterate. These are ALWAYS the wages of appeasement.

rrpjr on July 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM

They probably delight in how many people they can p.o..

Cindy Munford on July 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I think we ought to bring back the ancient Greek custom of ostracism.

OliverB on July 21, 2013 at 3:49 PM

I think we ought to bring back the ancient Greek custom of ostracism.

OliverB on July 21, 2013 at 3:49 PM

…I can go for that…only if precluded…by castration… before!

KOOLAID2 on July 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Declining popularity of the SC, Congress, Pres, etc is merely a symptom–the real issue is an ignorant and complacent electorate.

hillsoftx on July 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM

“Immaterial. What matters is that the South African Supreme Court, with its superior Constitution, remains popular.”

– Ruth Traitor Ginsberg

ShainS on July 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I guess a lot of them might not get re-elected then!…

oh wait ._____.

Drunk Report on July 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Believe it or not, some US States do hold elections for their Supreme Court Justices. The best example is Florida.

After the 2000 Presidential Election, which the at-the-time all-Democrat Florida Supreme Court unsuccessfully tried to steal for Al Gore, those Activist Democrat Justices were handily re-elected by the Florida voters. What a country!

Del Dolemonte on July 21, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Activist Judges ignoring the Constitution…

With few exceptions, the Supreme Court is a joke used to destroy our freedom. I hope Robert’s goes own in history as the court’s Judas.

trs on July 21, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Not when the commie four cite international law and not the US Constitution as the basis of their decisions.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I agree.
What crrap6 never seemed to understand, & lefties like her, is that the SCOTUS is not the sole arbiter of what is & is not Constitutional.
They are the 1st in a line of defense against Federal encroachment.
But in the end, the State has the ability to take a stand against SCOTUS tyranny.
Problem is the States are so affixed to the Federal teat they fear the weaning process.

Badger40 on July 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Don’t know what to make of this. I doubt it’s due to an awareness on the part of the general population that the SC is not really operating according to the original intentions of the Founders.

I’d like to think it’s due to the fact that most people don’t want socially dysfunctional people put into positions of deciding important matters for them but two Presidential election cycles would disprove THAT theory.

Cleombrotus on July 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

It certainly doesn’t do the court any good when decisions are made based on PENUMBRAS and EMANATIONS.

GarandFan on July 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

The incompetent gang in black… who illegitimately declared Obamacare “legal” as a “tax” … had the case been properly adjudicated would have require the SCOTUS to send the brief back to the lower courts, and not “approve” it when and how they did.

Since, correctly, it would have required being implemented FIRST as a tax, and THEN a tax protestor would need to object to that formulation, who would bring a suit, which would ULTIMATELY reach the Supreme Court AGAIN, where it could then be correctly ruled on in the right legal sequence.

That these treacherous idiots, Roberts the Lead Treacher, aborted the legal process, and we all suffer their impeachable offense and legal malfeasance.

profitsbeard on July 21, 2013 at 2:54 PM

To me this is the only decision they have made that I care about.
When Robers was dumb enough to break a dozen or so laws by baxically buying his kids and then stupid enough to let the left blackmail him, the entire court lost any credibility they might have ever had.
Obamcare is a tax like ozero was eligible to run for office. Neither is true and even the dumbest of LIV voters realize it.For the court:
EPIC FAILURE

rodguy911 on July 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

We can only hope that Obama doesn’t get to choose any more Justices.

Not very important but that photo drives me crazy. Was the photographer even looking through the view finder? Why is Ginsberg leaning away from the rest of the Justices?

hopeful on July 21, 2013 at 7:29 PM

When the Supreme Court legislates from the bench putting their political wants before the law, they should not be surprised to be considered and treated as the lowest order of corrupt politicians.

One of jobs assigned to the Supreme Court is to protect the people from the government. Not only have they have failed miserably in this regard, they are actively on the side of big government pushing tyranny on the American people.

RJL on July 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM

When the reasoning of an opinion is reduced to either insulting the “losers” or twisting plain common-sense into juridical knots, then there are bound to be hard feelings.

The Supreme Court judges have always been partisan; sometimes they disguise it better than other times, and sometimes their partisan position is correct (with luck, that will be the majority).

I can disagree with the court’s opinion and still maintain respect for the judges so long as they explain clearly how the Constitution supports their decision, and they themselves have respect for the opposing view.

AesopFan on July 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

They called me to ask about the Supreme Court for their poll, but somehow I became confused and thought they were asking about a tax. Silly me.

Roberts cannot be mocked enough for what he did. His name is not much better than Benedict Arnold’s… and rightfully so.

Voluble on July 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Don’t overlook the nature of the cases they have been deliberating for the past decade or so. Dramatic and sweeping new laws have polarized Americans (probably) like never before.

Our politicians have dragged themselves and us into the slime of divisive gender, racial, environmental, sexual deviancy and what-ever-else-you-can-name politics and then force the courts to rule on those same slimy issues.

Of course they are going to be less popular, we’ve set them up to where they have to lose and when they get knocked over we complain.

I don’t think there will ever be a middle ground again unless it’s a graveyard for Conservatives and Liberals alike.

We have quickly come to hate our politicians, their laws, their lies, their machinations and the interpretations the SCOTUS puts on those laws.

In addition, too many of us think the Courts are about “fairness” when it has always been about “what does the law REALLY mean

Pardon me while I set out my Liberal bear traps. Too many of them about Texas these days.

E9RET on July 21, 2013 at 11:31 PM

In another life Chief Justice Roberts was the Captain of the TITANIC!

If the hypothesis is correct that Roberts was so worried about the reputation of the SCOTUS that he stepped in and re-wrote Obamacare…TWICE…in order to save it, he killed that reputation by hanging his actions regarding Obamacare around his neck like an Albatross. Not only has he got the SCOTUS’s reputation sinking, as mentioned, he is standing in the wheelhouse manning the helm while his personal reputation also goes down with the ship. In years to come, when history books give credit to Obama for destroying the US healthcare system, replacing it with Socialized medicine/a single-payer system, there will be a special annotation giving partial credit to Chief justice Roberts.

easyt65 on July 22, 2013 at 8:59 AM