- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Public approval of the Supreme Court declined yet again, continuing its steady decrease in recent months, according to a new Marquette Law School poll published Wednesday.

Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed approved of the performance of the high court, compared to 44% who approved in May and 54% who approved in March.

It’s a sharp decline from about two years ago when the high court enjoyed a 66% approval rating in September of 2020. The poll comes at a time when many liberal activist groups say it is time to overhaul the size and the structure of the court in the wake of a number of conservative-leaning opinions.

The study also found that the public’s approval rating is more polarized than it was four months ago, following the leaked draft opinion in May of Justice Samuel Alito’s decision overruling Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that granted women a national right to abortion.

The court formally released its opinion overturning Roe last month, sending the issue of abortion back to the state legislatures.

“In March, partisan differences were modest, with a majority of both Republicans (64%) and Democrats (52%) approving of the court’s handling of its job. This changed after the leaked draft opinion in May, with approval among Republicans rising to 71% and approval among Democrats falling to 28%,” the Marquette pollsters found.

On the Second Amendment, though, the majority of respondents to the survey agreed with the court’s 6-3 conservative majority in a ruling against New York’s subjective standards for obtaining a license to carry firearms. 

In that case, the high court said New York — and states with similar laws — couldn’t require people to show they had a proper cause or special need to obtain a conceal carry license, though the justices did not nix more objective standards like a background check.

The ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen held that the Second Amendment protects people’s right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense.

The Marquette poll found that 56% of people agreed with this decision. The Marquette poll quizzed 1,003 adults and has a plus or minus margin of error of 4 percentage points. 

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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