If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


35% Say Legal System Places Individual Rights Over Public Safety

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.

(Want a free daily e-mail update ? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter  or Facebook .  

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.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


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.