January 14, 2013

Unfavorable Views of Supreme Court Up After 2012 Health Care Ruling

36%

Negative views of the Supreme Court increased after last June’s health care ruling and at 36% were largely unchanged in December.

Last July, unfavorable opinions of the Supreme Court rose to their highest level in 25 years, following the Court’s ruling upholding most of the 2010 health care law. A December survey showed that views of the court had changed little since that point. In the most recent survey, 53% said they had a favorable view of the Supreme Court, while 36% had an unfavorable view. In July 37% said they had an unfavorable opinion of the court.

In addition, the wide partisan differences in views of the Supreme Court that emerged in the wake of the health care ruling remained. In the December survey, 62% of Democrats said they had a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court; that was little changed from July (64%), but 10 points higher than in April (52%).

By contrast, Republicans continued to express less positive views of the Supreme Court than they did prior to its decision on the Affordable Care Act. In the December survey, 44% said they had a favorable opinion of the court, little changed from July (38%). In April, a 56% majority of Republicans had a favorable view of the court. Read more