Just before the Supreme Court announced its decision on President Barack Obama’s health care law, a new survey found less than half of Americans approve of the way the high court is handling its job.
According to a poll by the American Enterprise Institute, 44 percent of Americans surveyed approved of the way the Supreme Court was handling its job, compared to 62 percent who approved in 2000. Several major polling organizations with long trends found trust in the Supreme Court has declined.
Gallup, AEI reported, showed a six-point drop between 1966 and 2011 and the National Research Opinion Center recorded a a two-point drop between 1973 and 2010.
Despite the lagging approval ratings for the Supreme Court, Americans still view the judicial branch more positively than the executive and legislative branches.
A 2012 Fox News poll found that 45 percent believed the Supreme Court decisions were “about right,” with 26 percent saying they were “too liberal,” and 26 percent feeling they were “too conservative.”
However, while most Americans have an opinion on the court’s performance, many are unfamiliar with the individual justices. In 2010, the Pew Center reported only 28 percent could identify Chief Justice John Roberts.
While the justices are supposed to make rulings without the influence of their personal and political views, 50 percent believed the justices would let their partisan and ideological beliefs sway their decision on health care.