Trust in Judicial Branch Hits New Low as Republicans Turn against Courts

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sometimes, Republicans love the judiciary. Bush v. Gore handed them the White House even though George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Vice President Al Gore. Citizens United gave conservatives virtually free rein to buy politicians.


But a Gallup poll shows that when things don’t go their way, Republicans don’t like the courts quite as much. Trust in the judicial branch has fallen, with only 53% of respondents saying they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the courts. That’s down from 76% six years ago and the decline can be attributed to the numbers plummeting among Republicans.


Only 42% of Republicans say they trust the third branch of government, falling 17 points in the past year. Gallup puts the blame for that number on recent decisions such as the same-sex marriage case and those upholding most parts of the Affordable Care Act. The numbers of Democrats who trust the judicial branch have remained relatively constant.


“The decline in trust in the judicial branch over the past several years partly results from broader factors affecting all institutions, namely Americans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country and in the way the federal government operates,” Jeffrey M. Jones wrote for Gallup.


Thirty-seven percent of respondents say the Supreme Court, led by former Reagan Administration official John Roberts, is too liberal. That’s up from 30% last year and five points higher than the 32% of those polled in 2007 who said the court was too conservative. Only 18% of Republicans approve of the job the high court is doing.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Trust in U.S. Judicial Branch Sinks to New Low of 53% (by Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup)

Only Judges Caught Having Sex in Court Received Highest Judicial Discipline—Censure (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)


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