As New Supreme Court Term Begins, Polls Show Support For Expansion and Disapproval of The Court

As the Supreme Court begins a new term under the shadow cast by multiple ethics scandals, new polling shows Americans disapprove of the Court in historic numbers and support reforms including expansion.

new poll from Marquette University Law school shows that 54% of Americans support increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, while only 46% oppose it. That is the highest level of support and lowest level of opposition to Supreme Court expansion Marquette has found since it started asking about the proposal in 2019. A new Morning Consult | Politico poll similarly shows +8 support for expansion.

Support for structural reform makes sense when you consider the evidence shows Americans’ trust in the Court has cratered in the wake of partisan rulings and ethics scandals: 

  • Gallup reports that views of the Court “remain near record lows,” with 58% of Americans saying they disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job, compared to just 41% who approve of it. Meanwhile, Gallup shows fewer than half of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the judicial branch for only the second time since 1973.
  • Marquette reports that “approval of the Court has remained below 50% since May 2022,” with the latest numbers showing 57% of respondents disapprove of the job the Court is doing while just 43% approve. Marquette also finds that a majority of Americans believe the justices’ decisions are motivated mainly by politics, rather than the law.
  • ABC News reports ”the court remains extremely unpopular with the American public,” according to a new average of Supreme Court polling. They find: “the court’s net approval rating at the beginning of September was the lowest since our tracker began in December 2020.”