September 30, 2022

Americans’ job approval ratings for SCOTUS -- and their trust in the court -- have significantly dropped in the last two years, reaching historic lows, according to a new Gallup poll. Via USAToday:

Only 47% of Americans said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the high court, a 20-percentage point drop from 2020 and a 7-percentage point drop from the previous year. This year marks the lowest trust level among Americans since 1972.

Job approval of the Supreme Court also took a hit, as only 40% of those polled said they approved of the job done by the court, an 18-percentage point drop from 2020, tying for the lowest approval numbers found by Gallup.

As the overall approval of the court has dropped, approval is split among partisan lines, with the majority of Republicans still viewing the high court positively. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans trust the Supreme Court — a 6 percentage point increase from 2021 — compared to only 25% of Democrats, a 26-percentage point drop from 2021.

Things are pretty bad when this attitude has seeped so thoroughly into the consciousness of ordinary Americans (who are notoriously uninformed about most political institutions). Chief John Roberts and Sam Alito cannot BELIEVE that anyone would question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court! How dare they? HARUMPH! Get my smelling salts!

Leaving aside the egregious hardball politics that got Trump's handpicked Federalist Society judges on the court, SCOTUS has chipped away at any respect we may have once had for their actual work. Remember when Gorsuch ruled that it was okay to fire a truck driver for leaving his unheated truck instead of freezing to death? Citizens United. Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act. NFIB v. Sebelius, when Roberts rewrote the Affordable Care Act to make it easier for states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, which held employers could deny birth control coverage based on religious beliefs.

And of course, the Dobbs decision -- which overturned Roe v. Wade.

The basis of a Supreme Court justice's decision should not be based in which political party he or she belongs. That's not how courts are supposed to work.

And now, they clutch their pearls. Save me.

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