Ideological Chasm Over Interpreting Constitution

Jun 20, 2011

As the Supreme Court’s current term concludes, public opinion is evenly divided about how the justices should interpret the Constitution when determining their rulings. Half of Americans (50%) say the Court’s rulings should be based on its understanding of what the U.S. Constitution means in current times, while about as many (45%) say rulings should be based on its understanding of what the Constitution meant as originally written.

Few issues are as politically or ideologically divisive as how the Constitution should be interpreted. In the Pew Research Center’s political typology survey, released May 4, 70% of Republicans said the Supreme Court should base its rulings on its understanding of the Constitution as originally written; 65% of Democrats said the Court should base its rulings on what the Constitution means today.

The differences are even starker when viewed through the political typology, which sorts people based on their values, political beliefs and partisan affiliation.

Read the full report, Ideological Chasm Over Interpreting Constitution, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

X
(All Fields are required)