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Wednesday, May 07 2014

Americans View Court as too Political

A new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps reveals that the Supreme Court has very lackluster job performance ratings and is viewed as overly political by Americans, who support a wide range of reforms for our nation’s highest court.  Perhaps most remarkably, even in a time of intense political polarization there is broad cross-partisan consensus on these issues. 

Once one of the country's more trusted institutions, today just 35 percent give the court a positive job performance rating and a strong majority believe that Justices are influenced more by their own personal beliefs and political leanings than by a strict legal analysis. 

Two recent decisions on campaign finance have only served to intensify Americans' dissatisfaction with the Court. The Citizens United ruling is deeply unpopular across every partisan and demographic group while Americans of nearly every stripe believe the recent McCutcheon ruling will make our political system more corrupt - again with broad consensus across Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

This survey also found overwhelming approval for a series of seven reforms to the Court, with large, cross-partisan majorities supporting such proposals as requiring the court to disclose any outside activities, abolishing lifetime appointments in favor of set terms and allowing televisions cameras to film the Court’s proceedings.           

Read the full memo here.