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42% Have Favorable Opinion of U.S. Supreme Court

Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters

July 7, 2005 

U.S. Supreme Court

Favorable 42%
Unfavorable 41%



July 9, 2005--Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that nearly as many, 41%, have an unfavorable opinion. By way of comparison, 67% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the U.S. military.

Liberal voters have a higher opinion of the Court than conservatives. Among those who are to the left of center politically, 47% have a favorable opinion of the Court while 34% hold an unfavorable view.

Most conservatives (53%) have an unfavorable opinion of the Supreme Court. Just 36% offer a favorable opinion.

Just over a month ago, before handing down controversial rulings on the Ten Commandments and eminent domain, the nation's highest Court was viewed favorably by 39% and unfavorably by 33%. Five years ago, a July 1, 2000 found that 35% of Americans agreed with most Supreme Court decisions while 30% disagreed.

Retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is viewed favorably by 55% of American voters.

During the battle over Judicial nominations earlier this year, just 22% of Americans had a favorable opinion of the filibuster compromise reached by fourteen Senators. There was modest support for changing the filibuster rules so that all nominees could be guaranteed a vote by the full Senate.

Cultural issues, often decided by Supreme Court rulings were the most important issue for 10% of voters on Election Day, 2004. These voters overwhelmingly supported President Bush.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Americans say the Supreme Court is too hostile to religion.

A March, 2005 survey found that 28% believe the Court is too liberal and 24% say it is too conservative. A separate survey found that 31% believe most judges are too liberal and 19% believe they are too conservative.

Favorable views of the Supreme Court are now held by 40% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats and 49% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Among men, the Court is viewed favorably by 43% and unfavorably by 43%. Among women, the numbers are 42% favorable and 39% unfavorable.

An Election 2004 survey found that voters believed that the Massachusetts State Supreme Court exceeded their authority by mandating same-sex marriages for their state.

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This survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports July 7, 2005.  The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

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