• Polling

Americans Remain Split on Trust in the Supreme Court

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 By Rachael Russell
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Most Americans are opposed to outcomes of already-decided or upcoming Supreme Court decisions, including allowing businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ people, limiting the power of the EPA, overturning Roe v. Wade, and expanding gun rights and access; their recent decision against gerrymandering in Alabama avoided a public opinion landmine for now.
  • Learning about these recent or potential decisions leads nearly three in five Americans to say they don’t trust the Supreme Court to make the right decisions in the future.
  • The most concerning criticisms of the Supreme Court focus on corruption
    and ethical code violations, as well as the role “political extremists” on the
    Court have played in rolling back crucial freedoms.

Recent or Potential SCOTUS Rulings on EPA Scope, Abortion, Gun Laws, LGBTQ Discrimination Most Opposed

Exposure to Recent and Upcoming SCOTUS Decisions Drives Up Distrust of the Court

Learning about recent decisions the Supreme Court has made or potential decisions it might make drives down net trust in it by 20 points among Democrats,18 points among Black Americans, and 14 points among Hispanic Americans.

Most Concerning Criticisms of SCOTUS Focus on Corruption and Ethics, Political Extremism, and Rolling Back Freedoms

A message that criticizes “political extremists” on the Court is also more concerning to independents and Supreme Court movers* (66% and 78% concerning, respectively) than one that calls out “MAGA extremists” on the Supreme Court (54% and 66%).

Views of SCOTUS Become Negative By Double-Digits After Exposure to Recent/Potential Upcoming Decisions/Messaging

After messaging about recent or potential decisions by the Supreme Court and various criticisms of it, views of the Court decline by net 17 points overall, driven by declines among Democrats (net -26) and independents (net -19).

  • Majorities of Democrats (76% unfavorable) and independents (60%) hold unfavorable views of the Court after messaging, as do nearly one in three Republicans (31%) and majorities of every racial group after learning more.

Those Who Shift to View the Supreme Court Unfavorably Tend to Be Women, Democrats, and Live in Presidential Battleground

Democrats who do not identify as liberal (20%) most disproportionately fall into this group, while women (15%) are more likely to fall into this group than men (9%) – this also includes moms (17%) and women under 55 (16%) in particular.

  • Americans who live in the seven main presidential battleground states* (16%) are also more likely to fall into this group than those who live in other states.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,001 registered voters from June 2-June 5, 2023. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 72 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org