Supreme Court Gets Average Grade, But Is It Too Political?

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The Supreme Court is like any political entity; it has its ups and downs in public and party reception. Recently it’s been seeing some recovery in approval ratings, back up to 56 percent in April after hitting one of the lowest numbers at 48 percent last year in July, following the Voting Rights Act and same-sex marriage rulings, according to Pew Research.

Over the long haul, a 56 percent is not particularly good, especially compared to 2008 when views were considerable more positive, closer to the 70s. Unsurprisingly, the popularity of the Court rises and falls along partisan lines, and does so following big rulings, as is shown in Pew’s table shown below.

There was a predictable dive in Republican approval following the ruling on President Barack Obama’s health care reform bill, but since then both sides of the aisle have been looking up. Democratic opinion is recovering from its 2013 dip, and Republicans are considerably closer in opinion than they were in 2012 when they reached a 38 percent favorable view. It’s notable, however, that this could change, as many rulings and decisions had not yet taken place at the time of the poll, in late April.

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