While trust in the executive and legislative branches ticked slightly up this year, the judicial branch continues to lose its integrity in the eyes of American voters.
A new Gallup poll found that Americans’ trust in the law-interpreting branch of government is at a record-low of 53 percent. The sharp drop is considered to be the result of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage and to uphold key provisions in Obamacare. Unsurprisingly, then, trust among Republicans has especially cratered:
In similar fashion, Republicans' trust in the judicial branch has fallen 17 percentage points since September 2014, but trust is essentially unchanged among Democrats, meaning Republicans are mostly responsible for the overall decline in trust. Independents show a modest six-point drop. Republicans' trust in the judicial branch, now at 42%, is easily the lowest for any party group in Gallup's trend.
The ripple effects of SCOTUS’s sweeping rulings were most visibly seen in Rowan County, Kentucky, where court clerk Kim Davis was forced behind bars for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses because doing so would violate her Christian faith. Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz rallied to her side as she was released from prison, defending her right to religious freedom.
For SCOTUS to win the approval of Republicans once again, it’s going to take another landmark decision. Gallup suggests a favorable ruling in an upcoming Affirmative Action case could be its saving grace.