Gallup Poll: Supreme Court Approval Sinks to New Low 40 Percent

Gallup Poll: Supreme Court Approval Sinks to New Low 40 Percent supreme court building (Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Thursday, 23 September 2021 02:33 PM

The approval rating for the Supreme Court has reached a record low of 40%, according to the latest annual Gallup Poll on governance.

Not only has the approval of the Supreme Court sunk nine points since July, it shattered the previous record low by two points since the Gallup Poll trends were kept starting in 2000.

Just over a year ago during the Trump administration, the Supreme Court approval was at 58%, just three points off its all-time high. The Supreme Court twice had a previous 42% record low on approval in 2005 and 2016.

The chart of the top court's approval showed trending higher with a Republican in the White House than with a Democrat since 2000.

Gallup also pointed to a potential political bias in the approval ratings, noting the lows are related to recent decisions.

"The poll was conducted shortly after the Supreme Court declined to block a controversial Texas abortion law," Gallup's analysis read. "In August, the court similarly allowed college vaccine mandates to proceed and rejected a Biden administration attempt to extend a federal moratorium on evictions during the pandemic."

Notably, the 58% Supreme Court approval was during the waning months of the Trump administration and before the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, which came one year to the day after this latest poll was released.

"Americans' opinions of the Supreme Court are now the worst Gallup has measured in its polling on the institution over the past two-plus decades," Gallup's analysis noted. "At this point, less than a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents approve of the job the court is doing. Barely half of Democrats and independents are confident in it, while confidence is slightly higher among Republicans."

Also, Gallup found a record high (37%) responded the Supreme Court is "too conservative."

"In recent weeks, three Supreme Court justices – Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer – have made public speeches defending the court and its decision-making," Gallup wrote. "These speeches have come amid pressure from some Democrats to expand court membership, presumably to add more liberal-leaning justices.

"This is likely a response to Republican President Donald Trump's nominating three conservative justices in his four-year presidential term, the first after the Republican-led Senate refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016, citing the upcoming presidential election, and the last confirmed by the Senate days before the 2020 election."

Job approval among each of the three party groups is either 12 or 13 points lower than it was a year ago, according to Gallup.

Gallup polled 1,005 U.S. adults Sept. 1-17 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.