Days before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned landmark abortion rulings Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a poll showed Americans' confidence in the Supreme Court was at a historic low.
The Gallup poll showed that 25 percent of Americans had confidence in the Supreme Court, down from 36 percent in 2021. The lowest previously recorded was 30 percent in 2014.
Gallup's write-up claimed that last September, a poll showed the Supreme Court's job approval rating at a new low after it declined to block a Texas abortion law. It noted that the Dobbs draft opinion leak may have caused the number to tank to a new low.
In September, Gallup found the Supreme Court's job approval rating at a new low and public trust in the judicial branch of the federal government down sharply. These changes occurred after the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, among other controversial decisions at that time. Given these prior results, it is unclear if the drop in confidence in the Supreme Court measured in the current poll is related to the anticipated Dobbs decision or had occurred several months before the leak.
Since 2006, confidence in the Supreme Court has averaged at 35 percent and has not surpassed 40 percent. Broken down by party, the Democrats' confidence in the Supreme Court is the lowest for any party historically.
The Democratic figure is the lowest Supreme Court confidence rating Gallup has measured for any party group historically, eight points lower than the 21% figure among Democrats in 2019. Independents' 25% confidence rating is the lowest registered for that group historically, with the prior low being 28% in 2015.
Republican confidence has been lower in the past than now, with the 26% measured in 2010 still the lowest for GOP supporters to date. That low point occurred after Barack Obama picked a liberal justice, Sonia Sotomayor, in 2009 and nominated another, Elena Kagan, in 2010 before the poll was conducted.
"Invalidating Roe would allow state governments to decide whether abortion is legal or illegal in their state," Gallup concluded. "It is unclear whether that decision would further harm the institution's reputation among Americans or perhaps improve it if Americans agree with the court's reasoning."