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'Alarming': 1 in 3 Americans Say This About Abolishing the Supreme Court

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The highest judicial body in the country, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), began hearing cases for its fall term on Monday. On the agenda this term are cases pertaining to abortion rights, national security, and gun ownership. With the most conservative Court we've seen in decades, the rulings on these upcoming cases could have a lasting effect on the laws governing the country. But, how would Americans feel about SCOTUS if they were to make rulings unpopular with Congress and the general public? A poll published Monday shows.

As the Court's fall term begins, a poll from the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania shows that more than a third of Americans would consider abolishing SCOTUS or have Congress limit its jurisdiction if the Court made decisions they or Congress disagreed with. 

In the findings of the poll, 34 percent of Americans said "it might be better to do away with the Court altogether" if it began making many rulings most Americans disagreed with. Additionally, 38 percent of respondents said that if Congress disagrees with a Court's ruling, "Congress should pass legislation saying the Supreme Court can no longer rule on that issue or topic." Perhaps these respondents have forgotten about checks and balances.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the APPC, issued a statement on these "alarming" findings in the poll write-up.

"Respect for judicial independence appears to be eroding," Jamieson said. "The willingness of more than 1 in 3 Americans to entertain the idea of abolishing the court or stripping jurisdiction from it is alarming."

After collecting the results, APPC compared its findings to other polls conducted recently that posed questions regarding SCOTUS.

"The findings are consistent with trends in other recent surveys that posed related questions," the write-up reads. "Gallup reported in September that the Supreme Court's approval rating plunged to 40%, a new low, from 49% in July. A Marquette Law School Poll in September found the court's approval rating falling to 49% from 60% in July."

The poll was conducted from Sept. 7 to Sept. 12 among 1,008 American adults. The survey has a margin of error of +/- four percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. 

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