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35% Say Legal System Places Individual Rights Over Public Safety

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More than a third of voters believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about individual rights when it comes to public safety, but fewer believe it puts those rights over protecting national security.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 35% believe the country’s legal system worries too much about individual rights at the expense of public safety. Only 21% believe the system puts public safety first, while 31% think the balance is about right. Another 13% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is consistent with findings in surveys back to March of last year following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to narrow the scope of so-called Miranda rights.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of voters now also believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights when it comes to national security. Nearly the same number (25%) say the system worries too much about protecting national security, but that's down seven points from February 2008.  Thirty-two percent (32%) say the balance is about right. Another 15% are undecided.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 20-21, 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.

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