Turns out even Republicans want Supreme Court reform
A majority of people think the Supreme Court should have term limits — including 57% of Republicans.
Now that the United States Supreme Court is kicking back and resting for the summer after a long stretch of repealing people’s rights and generally condemning the planet to a fiery doom, let’s check in with the ol’ public opinion and see how people think things are going these days.
Hm, well how about that? It seems people are pretty unhappy with the Court. Like ... a whole lot of people. In fact, according to a just-released AP-NORC poll, fully two-thirds of the country (67%) thinks there should be a hard limit on just how long the justices, currently appointed to lifetime roles, are able to sit on the most powerful bench in the judicial system. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the hard-right Christian nationalist majority on the current court, the number skyrockets among Democrats specifically, with 82% of that bloc saying they’d support a proposal to have Supreme Court justices appointed for only a set number of years.
What is surprising, however, is the number of Republicans who also said they supported term limits for Supreme Court justices. In all, 57% said so, despite the fact that conservatives are currently poised to retain their majority on the bench for at least a generation.
The growing dissatisfaction with the court seems to stem at least in no small part from Democrats’ fury over this past term’s rulings against bodily autonomy and in favor of gun proliferation. As AP notes, while just 17% of Democrats indicated they had “a great deal confidence” in the Court this past April, that number has plummeted to 4% now. Conversely, the number of Democrats who have hardly any confidence in the Court more than doubled in that same period of time, from 27% in April to 64% today. All told, the overwhelming emotions associated with the Court were “anger” and “sadness” according to the poll, with 55% of the general public saying those descriptors applied “very well” or “somewhat well” to their opinions of the court. Just one-tenth of respondents indicated extreme indifference.
Despite their seeming openness to reforming the Court in terms of term limits and age cutoffs, Republicans still are largely supportive of a bench that has delivered on their decades-long enterprise to strip away rights, with a 13-point increase to 34% in those who say they have a great deal of confidence in the institution.
The poll, conducted between July 14-17, sampled answers from 1,085 adults and has a margin of error of just under 4%.
Speaking with AP, one Democratic respondent explained her support for limiting the justices’ terms. “I think some of those people have been up there too long,” she said. “They don’t have new ideas. When you get a certain age and everything, you get set in your ways, just like I’m set in my ways.’”