The Mandate Decision and Public Perception of the Court

Before the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, many predicted the decision would influence public perceptions of the Court and its legitimacy. If a new Rasmussen poll is to believed, the decision has had some such effect already. From the poll summary:

A week ago, 36% said the court was doing a good or an excellent job. That’s down to 33% today. However, the big change is a rise in negative perceptions. Today, 28% say the Supreme Court is doing a poor job. That’s up 11 points over the past week.

The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on Friday and Saturday following the court ruling, finds that 56% believe justices pursue their own political agenda rather than generally remain impartial. That’s up five points from a week ago. Just half as many — 27% — believe the justices remain impartial. . . .

Thirty-seven percent (37%) now believe the Supreme Court is too liberal, while 22% think it’s too conservative. A week ago, public opinion was much more evenly divided: 32% said it was too liberal and 25% said too conservative.

For details on the poll, see here. The usual caveats apply, and who knows whether this poll is indicative of how the Court or this decision will be viewed over time.

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