A new Gallup poll shows that Republican support for the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to a record low of 18 percent. The results come after the court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage and uphold federal subsidies under the health care reform program known as the Affordable Care Act.
Republican support for the Supreme Court is down 17 percent from September 2014. The poll found a sharp rise in support for the Supreme Court from Democrats, whose approval rose from 47 percent in September to 76 percent.
Support from independent voters rose only 3 percent since September.
Among all Americans, approval for the court is up 5 percent from last fall, from 44 percent to 49. The job approval rating is below the 52 percent average, as has been the case since 2000.
The 18 percent approval rating from Republicans is the lowest so far. Meanwhile, the 76 percent of approval from Democrats is the highest yet.
While the Supreme Court may be unpopular with Republicans now, it is not uncommon for partisans to re-evaluate their views based on specific rulings.
Republican support soared by 20 percent after the court ruled in favor of former President George W. Bush in the dispute of recounts with former Vice President Al Gore in Florida during the presidential election in 2000. Democrat approval plummeted by 28 percent.
This time last year, 51 percent of Republicans approved of the job the Supreme Court was doing. The increase may have reflected support for the court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, where private companies were allowed to deny contraceptive services in their health plans over religious objections.
While the parties’ views on the court may be the most disparate in the past 15 years, it could shift if the court rules again on a high-profile, polarizing topic.
Next term, the court may rule on whether race can be used as a factor in college admissions. If it decides it cannot be used, Republican support may increase.
The findings reflect the results of a June CNN/ORC poll found that a majority of Americans supported the court’s rulings.
Of all respondents, 63 percent believed the court was right in upholding subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, 59 percent said same-sex marriage should be a constitutional right.
Of Democrats, 79 percent agreed with the court on health care, and 70 percent agreed on same-sex marriage.
Of Republicans, 54 percent disagreed with the court on health care and 59 percent disagreed on same-sex marriage.