[F]ewer voters than ever view the high court positively. . . . The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 28% give the Supreme Court good or excellent ratings. Nineteen percent (19%) rate the highest court in the land as poor.
Admittedly, this poll was conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a conservative polling firm with a history of inaccuracies. Nevertheless, Rasmussen’s finding is consistent with other polls showing that Americans increasingly believe that, despite the fact that the justices’ very legitimacy stems from their ability to apply the law fairly and independent of partisan concerns, the Court’s decisions are driven in large part by politics.
Certainly, the Supreme Court’s five conservatives have done nothing to disabuse the American people of this unfortunate perception. To the contrary, the Roberts Court has consistently pushed an ideological agenda from the bench — often despite decades of precedent to the contrary:
- Citizens United: Any discussion of the Roberts Court must begin with its most significant case to date — it’s decision to unleash billions of dollars of corporate and other big dollar election spending in Citizens United. Citizens United did not simply overrule a twenty year-old precedent in order to strike down a sixty-three year-old ban on corporate election buying, it was also a huge gift to the Republican Party. Seventeen of the top twenty donors this political cycle are conservatives.