A CBS News/New York Times poll released last week shows most Americans already believe the ruling on healthcare reform will be based on justices’ personal and political views. According to the survey, 55 percent of Americans believe the justices’ political ties will play a role in the healthcare decision.
An earlier CBS/New York Times poll from this month found an overwhelming majority of Americans, 76 percent, said the personal and political views of the Supreme Court justices influence their decisions in all cases — not just healthcare. The same poll found that 60 percent of Americans now believe that lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices are a “bad thing.”
The bottom line is that public confidence in the Supreme Court, after controversial and political decisions in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, is the most fragile it has been in a generation. And remember, the same polls have shown most Americans are not convinced the healthcare reform law is a good idea…
The relevant point is that the court may do irreparable harm to its reputation with another highly political split between justices appointed by Democrats and justices appointed by Republicans. A 5-4 defeat of the healthcare law will erode trust in the justice system.