Jun 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Confidence in SCOTUS hits historic low, poll finds

Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Photo: Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans' confidence in the Supreme Court is at an all-time low, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

Why it matters: The results of the poll come as the Supreme Court is expected to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights. A leaked draft opinion suggested five judges were ready to overturn the ruling.

By the numbers: Gallup's poll found that 25% of U.S. adults said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, which is down from 36% in 2021.

  • Gallup said the 11-point drop from last year is "roughly double" what's expected for most institutions.
  • The previous record low was 30% in 2014 when American confidence in the country dipped in general, Gallup said.

Flashback: A Marquette Law School poll in May found a majority of Americans disapproved of the Supreme Court after the leak of the draft opinion.

  • Specifically, 55% of Americans disapproved of "how the Court is handling its job" while 44% approved at the time.

The big picture: Confidence in the Supreme Court has been lower in the last 16 years than before.

  • From 1973 to 2006, confidence in the court hovered around 47% and rarely dipped below 40%, according to Gallup.
  • Since 2006, about 35% of Americans were confident in the court on average. That number has not gone above 40% since then, per Gallup.

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Methodology: The Gallup results were based on a Gallup poll taken from June 1 to June 20 — before the end of the Supreme Court's ongoing term.

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