Americans’ confidence in the Supreme Court has hit record lows, according to a new poll by Gallup. Only 25 percent of U.S. respondents said they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in the institution, down from 36 percent a year ago. The new total is five percentage points lower than the last recorded lull, back in 2014. Gallup has been surveying the U.S. public on the topic since 1973.
The survey asked both Democrats and Republicans to voice their opinions on the Supreme Court. It found that while Republicans’ faith in the high court had remained pretty similar over the past year, rising one percentage point from 38 to 39 percent, Democrats' trust had plummeted from 30 percent to 13 percent.
The poll, conducted between June 1 and June 20, 2022, captures a critical moment in U.S. history, having been taken on the eve of one of the Supreme Court’s most important rulings: the overturn of Roe v. Wade. While the court’s ruling was announced after the poll had taken place, the direction of the decision had already been known, following Politico’s leak of a draft opinion for the case in May.
According to Statista, “Roe v. Wade refers to a 1970 Supreme Court case that establishes the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy via the method of abortion. It is named for Jane Roe (pseudonym), a woman in Texas who wanted an abortion, and Henry Wade, the District Attorney in Dallas County, Texas.” The law has since been overruled, meaning that individual states now have the power to decide whether abortion is legal within their boundaries.