Supreme Court Reaches Highest Approval Rating Since 2009

With the Kavanaugh confirmation battle looming ahead, 53 percent of Americans support the current roster of justices

Fifty-three percent of Americans now view the Supreme Court favorably, thus giving the tribunal its highest approval rating in nine years, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

“The latest reading on the nation’s highest court follows several controversial rulings by the court last month at the end of the 2017-2018 term, as well as President Donald Trump’s nomination of conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy,” Gallup noted.

Approximately 53 percent of Americans now approve of the Supreme Court’s performance — up from 49 percent in September — while 41 percent disapprove. Seventy-two percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats are among those who approve.

Republican approval, in particular, experienced a sharp increase from 26 percent to 72 percent from September 2016 — two months prior to Trump’s Election Day victory — through September 2017, several months after Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, assumed his position on the bench.

“As the Senate prepares to hold confirmation hearings on Kavanaugh, approval of the current Supreme Court is in majority territory for the first time in nearly a decade, a result of an increase in Republicans’ and independents’ positive views,” Gallup noted in its review of the poll.

“A conservative, Kavanaugh could shift the balance of power on the court if he is confirmed, and the result could be that Democrats and moderate and liberal Americans could become even less positive about the court than they are now,” Gallup added.

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Approximately 44 percent of Americans believe the court’s ideology is about right while 29 percent and 21 percent believe it is too conservative or liberal, respectively.

Gallup conducted its latest survey July 1-11 among 1,033 U.S. adults. Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace Kennedy on July 9.

The survey also was taken following several Supreme Court rulings that delivered significant conservative victories, some of which were 5-4 decisions.

The court upheld Trump’s travel ban in a 5-4 decision on June 26. Trump’s critics refer to the travel ban as a “Muslim ban,” since it targets immigration from a few of the dozens of Muslim-majority countries with inadequate vetting systems for national security purposes.

Related: Dems Will Unleash ‘A Lot of Scare Tactics’ Against Kavanaugh

Also on June 26, the court voted 5-4 in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers’ free speech rights to refuse advertising abortion services.

The court sided with the Christian baker from Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding because it violated his religious beliefs in a 7-2 decision on June 4, rejecting the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s hostility against Christianity.

Also on June 4, the court ruled unanimously against a pregnant immigrant teenager who obtained an abortion in the U.S., thus siding with the Trump administration.

Trump campaigned heavily in 2016 on the importance of a Republican president appointing Supreme Court nominees, making it one of his signature campaign promises to appoint a replacement for the conservative late Justice Antonin Scalia in his “mold.”

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