Gallup poll shows public opinion of US Supreme Court still at record low News
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Gallup poll shows public opinion of US Supreme Court still at record low

A Gallup public opinion poll released Wednesday shows continued record low approval ratings for the Supreme Court of the United States.

Gallup, an independent global analytics firm, releases frequent public opinion polls gauging Americans’ approval of the court and its justices. Tied with the record low from September 2022, only 40 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court did during its 2022 to 2023 term. Gallup also reported stark divides between political affiliations, with 62 percent of Republicans approving of the court’s actions, 41 percent of Independents, and 17 percent of Democrats. During this eventful term, which ended on June 30, 2023, the court ruled on multiple controversial cases, including one overturning affirmative action in university admissions and one finding in favor of a designer who refused to create websites for LGBTQ+ couples.

Additionally, this term saw a number of ethics allegations brought against three of the court’s current justices. Allegations came forth that Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni failed to report gifts ranging from donations to holiday trips. Gallup reported that 42 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Thomas.

Justice Samuel Alito was accused of failing to disclose a luxury fishing trip he took with a hedge fund billionaire who then had business before the court at least 10 times. Alito also fought accusations that he was subject to outside influence from a religious interest group regarding the court’s 2014 contraception decision, which held that certain corporations can deny contraceptive coverage on religious grounds. Finally, Justice Sonia Sotomayor faced allegations that her staff repeatedly encouraged libraries and universities to purchase her books and did not recuse herself in cases where her publisher was a party.

Following these allegations, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a Supreme Court ethics reform bill that would establish an ethics code for Supreme Court justices to follow, including disclosure requirements.