Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh attend the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

As Right-Wing Majority Shows Its Face, Confidence in Supreme Court Hits All-Time Low

"It's almost like if you steal a Supreme Court seat to make decisions that are wildly unpopular based on extraordinarily flimsy justifications," said one critic, "you will lose the deference and respect that has historically been granted to you."

Julia Conley

A new poll out Thursday reveals that the confidence the American people have in the U.S. Supreme Court is at an all-time low—dropping 11 points since the right-wing majority took hold last year and amid major rulings, including the expected overturning of Roe vs. Wade, unpopular with the voting public.

Just 25% of Americans have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, down from 36% one year ago.

"Many institutions have suffered a decline in confidence this year, but the 11-point drop in confidence in the Supreme Court is roughly double what it is for most institutions that experienced a decline."

The poll was taken from June 1-20, about a month after a draft opinion was leaked showing that the right-wing majority voted earlier this year to overturn Roe, a ruling that would immediately end access to legal abortion care for millions of Americans in 26 states and likely reduce access in states that protect abortion rights.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans oppose overturning the landmark reproductive rights ruling, according to a Gallup survey taken a year ago.

The court's approval rating is five points lower than its previous low, which was recorded in 2014.

Just 13% of Democratic voters reported having confidence in the high court—the lowest rating the polling company has ever recorded—while 39% of Republicans said they currently approve of the court. Twenty-five percent of independents said they had confidence.

Gallup will soon release the results of polls regarding other U.S. institutions such as Congress, it said, but the group noted that the Supreme Court's confidence rating has fallen more sharply than other entities.

"Many institutions have suffered a decline in confidence this year, but the 11-point drop in confidence in the Supreme Court is roughly double what it is for most institutions that experienced a decline," said the group.

The low rating came as no surprise to progressive organizers who are mobilizing to fight for abortion rights and pushing Congress to codify the right to abortion care into federal law ahead of the expected ruling.

Recent Supreme Court decisions include New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, which was decided Thursday. Weeks after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas—sparking renewed calls for stricter gun control—the court's right-wing majority ruled that New York state's law restricting the ability to carry a concealed weapon was unconstitutional.

The court also on Thursday weakened people's ability to sue law enforcement agents who fail to read suspects' Miranda rights during an arrest and gave legal immunity to border agents accused of using excessive force earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor vehemently disagreed with the right-wing majority's ruling that religious schools must be included in a state-run tuition program, a decision she said "leads us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation."

The Gallup poll represents "a new low for the high court," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), an advocate for adding more justices to the Supreme Court following the Republican Party's refusal to confirm former President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016 and its controversial confirmations of Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett during the Trump administration.

"With each far-right decision issued by a stolen, illegitimate majority—we see why," said Markey. "It's time to expand the Court and reclaim it for the American people."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Denounced for Imposing New Sanctions as Iran Nuclear Talks Falter

One Middle East expert accused the U.S. administration of "continuing and embracing Trump's max pressure policy, while expecting a different result."

Brett Wilkins ·


Under 'Draconian Abortion Ban,' Woman in El Salvador Sentenced to 50 Years for Pregnancy Loss

Laws like El Salvador's are "now being replicated in states across the U.S.," noted one observer.

Julia Conley ·


Warren, Sanders, and Others Blast Biden's 'Failure' on Federal Cannabis Policy

While commending Biden's pardons and commutations, six senators wrote that "much more has to be done to address the racist and harmful legacy of cannabis policies on Black and Brown communities."

Jessica Corbett ·


Court Applauded for Tossing Trump-Era Rule That Allowed Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination

"We are thrilled that the court has removed the continuing threat the presence of the discriminatory Trump-era rule posed to some of the most vulnerable members of society," said one attorney.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Broken' Capitalist Food System Drives Soaring Global Hunger: Oxfam

Criticism from the charity's food policy director came in response to a new United Nations report revealing that around 1 in 10 people worldwide went hungry last year.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo