Friday, June 24, 2011
Voters appear less concerned these days with protecting individual rights when it comes to national security and public safety.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 29% of Likely U.S. voters think the legal system in this country worries too much about protecting individual rights at the expense of national security. Twenty-five percent (25%) say the U.S. legal system is more concerned with protecting national security, while 32% say the balance between the two is about right. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The number of voters who worry the legal system is emphasizing individual rights over national security is down 10 points from late March when 39% of voters felt that way. That matched findings in November 2009 just after President Obama’s decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in a U.S. court in New York City rather than before a military tribunal at the Guantanamo prison camp for terrorists.
Thirty percent (30%) of voters now also believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights when it comes to public safety. This finding is down six points from late March but is more in line with findings a year ago. Twenty-three percent (23%) say the legal system cares too much about protecting public safety. Another 34% say the balance is about right. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.
Still, 53% of Americans now believe the federal government is more of a threat to individual rights than a protector.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORBecome a member and get full access to all articles and polls starting at $4.95/month.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.