Republicans Less Positive Toward Supreme Court

  • July 09, 2010

Republicans' opinions of the Supreme Court have become less favorable during the Obama administration. As a result, more Democrats than Republicans now express a positive opinion of the Supreme Court – the first time this has occurred since the Clinton administration.

Overall opinions of the Supreme Court are unchanged since February, at 58% favorable, but are somewhat less positive than in April 2009 (64% favorable). Over this period, favorable impressions of the court among Republicans have fallen by 18 points
– from 70% to 52%.

Democrats' views of the Supreme Court have shown less change: 65% now have a favorable view of the Supreme Court, up slightly from February (57%), and about the same as in April 2009 (63%). Independents' opinions also have changed little over this period. Currently, 58% of independents have a positive impression of the court.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 1-5 among 1,007 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that the public's perceptions of the Supreme Court's ideology have changed little since earlier this year. But compared with July 2007, fewer people view the court as conservative and more see it as liberal.

Currently, 39% say the Supreme Court is middle of the road, while equal numbers rate it as conservative or liberal (23% each). In July 2007, 36% said the court was conservative, while 35% said it was middle of the road and just 14% said it was liberal.

Read the full report, Republicans Less Positive Toward Supreme Court on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.