Opinions of Supreme Court linked to party politics: poll

Rob Luke Oct. 10, 2007, 5:20pm

U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, DC -- Barely half of Americans approve of how the United States Supreme Court (USSC) is doing its job, according to a recent opinion poll released the day after the Court's fall session began.

According to the results of the annual mid-September Governance poll released Oct. 2 by Gallup News Service (GNS), the Supreme Court held its 51 percent approval rating achieved in spring but fell year-on-year from last year's 60 percent. The figure swings in response to the USSC's ruling on big issues, the summary states.

Other public attitudes toward the USSC closely track political affiliation, the poll discovered. About one-third of respondents said the court was too conservative compared to one-fifth who said too liberal, while the largest percentage (43 percent) said it was about right.

"Democrats are much more likely to perceive the current court as too conservative (47 percent) than Republicans are to say it is too liberal (26 percent)," wrote Joseph Carroll of GNS.

At the same time, a majority of Republicans (58 percent) say the USSC is about right compared to a significant minority (31 percent) of Democrats who say the same. Most Independents also agreed with the court's political balance, Gallup found.

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