In the immediate wake of several important U.S. Supreme Court decisions strengthening the Second Amendment, reining in the power of the Environmental Protection Agency, and ending the constitutional right to an abortion, a majority of Democrats say they want to abolish the Supreme Court.
A new poll by The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports of 1,025 likely voters found that only 33% of Democrats have a “favorable” view of the Supreme Court, whereas 72% of Republicans view the Supreme Court “very” or “somewhat” favorably.
The poll also found that 33% of Democrats “strongly favor” and 20% “somewhat favor” legislation that would “abolish the current Supreme Court and establish a new, democratically elected Supreme Court with justices chosen by the American people directly.” The combined number in favor, 53%, constitute a majority of registered Democrats.
The poll was conducted from July 6-7, 2022. Among those surveyed in the poll, 33% were Republicans, 35% were Democrats, and 32% were Independents; 48% were men, 52% were women; 67% were white, 13% were black, 13% were Hispanic, and 7% identified as “other.”
Overall, 52% of likely voters, no matter their political affiliation, have a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of the Supreme Court. Among Democrats, only one-third have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court.
Democrats See Supreme Court as Racist, Sexist
Although only 34% of likely voters believe the Supreme Court is a fundamentally racist institution, 56% of Democrats and 61% of liberals agree with this statement. On the other end of the spectrum, 14% of Republicans and 17% of conservatives think the Supreme Court is a fundamentally racist institution.
Most likely voters (55%) do not agree that the U.S. Supreme Court is a fundamentally sexist institution that favors men over women. Yet, 54% of likely voters aged 19 to 39 believe the Supreme Court is sexist. Likewise, 67% of Democrats and 71% of liberals think the Supreme Court is “fundamentally sexist” in favor of men. For comparison, only 18% of Republicans and 21% of conservatives believe the Supreme Court is a sexist institution.
Interestingly, a little less than half of women (48%) agree that the Supreme Court is fundamentally sexist.
Democrats Want to Pack the Court
The poll found that 55% of all likely voters oppose legislation that would increase the size of the Supreme Court to 13 justices. Meanwhile, 64% of Democrats support packing the nine-person Court with at least four more justices, with 37% strongly favoring court packing and 27% somewhat favoring the idea.
Only 37% of all independents polled support court packing, while 50% are opposed.
Majority of Voters Oppose Electing Supreme Court Justices, Democrats Favor
For as long as the Supreme Court has existed, presidents have appointed justices to serve life terms. The thinking behind this is simple: The judicial branch should remain free from political pressures and Supreme Court justices are not politicians, and therefore should not be swayed by the political winds at any given moment.
While 53% of likely voters 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, 53% of Democrats and 54% of liberals favor such legislation. 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.
Should the United Nations Have Veto Power Over the Supreme Court?
The Heartland Institute/Rasmussen Reports poll asked about “a constitutional amendment that would give the United Nations the authority to reverse U.S. Supreme Court decisions that U.N. members believe violate human rights?” Overall, only 29% of likely voters supported that proposition.
However, 39% of Democrats, 42% of liberals, 50% of African Americans, and 48% of younger voters (between the ages of 19-39) support the idea of giving the United Nations veto power over U.S. Supreme Court decisions on human rights grounds. Only 21% of conservatives, 30% of independents, and 9% of voters aged 65 and older support it.