Most Democratic Voters Want to ‘Abolish’ Supreme Court
While a majority of American voters still have a favorable opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, Democrats have turned against the court and would support radical changes to the institution.
A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute finds that 52% of Likely U.S. voters view the Supreme Court favorably, including 29% who have a Very Favorable opinion of the court. Forty-three percent (43%) view the Supreme Court unfavorably, including 25% with a Very Unfavorable opinion. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
In the wake of a recent string of decisions strengthening the Second Amendment, reining in the power of the Environmental Protection Agency, and ending the constitutional right to an abortion, however, Democratic voters mostly disapprove of the Supreme Court. Only 33% of Democrats view the court favorably, while 63% have an unfavorable opinion of the court, including 40% of Democrats who have a Very Unfavorable view of the Supreme Court. By contrast, 72% of Republicans and 52% of independent voters have a favorable opinion of the court.
A majority of Democrats view the Supreme Court as racist and discriminatory against women, and favor either “packing” the court by adding extra justices or replacing the existing court with democratically elected justices.
“I am shocked and dismayed by these poll results,” said Heartland Institute research fellow Donald Kendal. “How can an institution like the Supreme Court function properly when the majority of those who call themselves liberal think the Court is sexist and racist? How can our system of government continue to work as outlined by the Constitution when the majority of those who call themselves liberal advocate for the abolishment of the Supreme Court? … I know our country has been divided in recent years; I’m starting to fear that division is becoming irreparable.”
The survey of 1,025 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on July 6-7, 2022 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.
There are nine justices on the Supreme Court, but some congressional Democrats have proposed expanding that number to 13. A majority (51%) of Likely Voters would oppose such a plan, including 40% who Strongly Oppose so-called “court-packing,” while 41% favor the idea. Among Democratic voters, however, 64% favor expanding the Supreme Court to 13 seats, including 37% who Strongly Favor the idea.
Among other findings of the new Heartland/Rasmussen survey:
– Fifty-three percent (53%) of Likely Voters would oppose legislation that would abolish the current Supreme Court and establish a new, democratically elected Supreme Court with justices chosen by the American people directly, However, 53% of Democrats favor such legislation, including 33% who Strongly Favor the idea. On the other hand, only 21% of Republicans and 23% of conservatives favor a law that would abolish the current Supreme Court in place of a Supreme Court with justices voted on by the people directly.
– A solid majority (61%) of Likely Voters disagree with the claim that the Supreme Court “is a fundamentally racist institution,” but 56% of Democrats agree with that claim, including 26% who Strongly Agree that the court is “fundamentally racist.”
– Fifty-five percent (55%) of Likely Voters disagree with the assertion that the Supreme Court “is a fundamentally sexist institution that favors men over women,” but 67% of Democrats agree with it, including 34% who Strongly Agree that the court is “fundamentally sexist.”
– A strong majority (62%) of Likely Voters would oppose a constitutional amendment to give the United Nations the authority to reverse U.S. Supreme Court decisions that U.N. members believe violate human rights. Support for giving the United Nations veto power over Supreme Court decisions is much higher among Democrats (39%) than Republicans (17%) or independents (30%).
– Voters under 40 have more negative attitudes toward the Supreme Court and are more supportive of radical proposals to change the court. Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters under 40 think the Supreme Court is “fundamentally racist” and 54% believe the court is “fundamentally sexist.” A majority of voters under 40 favor expanding the Supreme Court to 13 seats (55%) and abolishing the existing court in favor of one elected directly by the people (54%). Nearly half (48%) of voters under 40 think the United Nations should be able to reverse Supreme Court decisions.
– Almost half (48%) of women voters at least somewhat agree that the Supreme Court “is a fundamentally sexist institution that favors men over women.” More women voters (48%) than men (37%) have an unfavorable opinion of the Supreme Court.
– Majorities of black voters (54%) and Hispanics (50%) at least somewhat agree that the Supreme Court “is a fundamentally racist institution.” Only 27% of whites and 29% of other minorities share that view. Similarly, while 59% of black voters and 55% of Hispanics at least somewhat favor expanding the Supreme Court to 13 seats, just 35% of whites and 34% of other minorities agree.
– President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are most in favor of radical changes to the Supreme Court. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 62% favor abolishing the current Supreme Court and replacing it with one in which justices are elected directly by the people. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, only 17% favor such a proposal and 76% are opposed.
“By and large, the American people hold the Court in high esteem, as this poll amply demonstrates,” said Heartland Institute senior editor Chris Talgo. “However, there is absolutely a movement afoot, principally among leftists and America’s youth, who desire to ‘reimagine’ the Supreme Court so that it will become nothing more than a rubber stamp for their radical agenda. Fortunately, most likely voters reject this notion and steadfastly support the Supreme Court.”
Even though more voters identify as pro-choice than pro-life, fully half of them approve of the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
By an overwhelming margin, voters don’t want President Biden to seek reelection, and they’re not excited about two possible alternatives in 2024, either.
The survey of 1,025 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on July 6-7, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute. 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 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.