Republican voters, who in April approved of the way the U.S. Supreme Court was doing its job by better than 2-1, reversed their opinion after justices voted to uphold President Barack Obama’s health-care law, according to a poll released today.
The survey by Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University found 54 percent of Republicans disapproving of the high court’s performance and 35 percent approving. In April, Republicans approved of the court by 62 percent to 23 percent.
Democratic voters’ job approval for the Supreme Court increased to 64 percent from 44 percent in April, and their disapproval fell to 24 percent from 38 percent.
The poll was taken July 1-8, after the Supreme Court on June 28 upheld the law aimed at providing coverage to millions of Americans who lack insurance.
“We didn’t ask why voters felt the way they did about the court, but it’s obvious there is great disappointment among conservatives that the 5-4 decision on health care went against them,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the university’s polling institute. “It is reasonable to assume that’s why the standing of the court in the eyes of Republicans has dipped.”
The court’s job approval among all voters was 47 percent, the lowest in four years and down from 52 percent in April, while the percentage of those disapproving grew to 41 percent from 31 percent. The survey of 2,722 registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.
The poll found that 51 percent of Republican voters disapproved of the job being done by Chief Justice John Roberts, who broke with the court’s conservative wing to uphold the health-care law. Sixty-two percent of Democrats polled said they approved of Roberts’s performance, while 19 percent disapproved.
In April 2010, after justices voted 5-4 along ideological lines in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to reverse decades of precedent and remove limits on corporate and union political spending, 52 percent of Republicans and 47 percent of Democrats said they approved of Roberts’s performance.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at email@example.com.