Just as the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the ruling that made abortion legal, a new poll indicates public confidence in the high court is at an historic low.
In the Gallup Poll’s annual update on public confidence in U.S. institutions, 25% of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court, down from 36% a year ago and five percentage points lower than the previous low recorded in 2014.
The pollsters said many institutions have suffered a decline in confidence this year, but the 11-point drop in confidence in the Supreme Court is roughly double what it is for most institutions that experienced a decline.
Gallup reports the previous low in Supreme Court confidence was 30% in 2014, a year when confidence in major U.S. institutions in general hit a low point, averaging 31%.
Gallup said Friday’s long-anticipated abortion ruling is likely a factor in the public’s low confidence in the court. Their poll was taken between June 1 and June 20 — days before the landmark ruling, but after a leaked draft majority opinion in the case indicated the high court would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court ruling that prohibits restrictions on abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Gallup says U.S. residents opposed overturning Roe by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
The pollsters said the low numbers were likely driven by Democrats, whose confidence in the Supreme Court dropped by double digits this year – from 30 to 13 percent – and independents, where it dropped 40 to 25 percent.
It rose slightly among Republicans, 37 to 39 percent.