Republicans Are Losing Trust in the Supreme Court

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 18, 2024

A new poll has revealed that Republican Americans are losing trust in the U.S. Supreme Court, as support for the court hits a record low.

This new data comes as trust in the Supreme Court remains incredibly low among all Americans, particularly Democrats. However, now it appears that the court’s approval rating from conservatives has plummeted.

Republican Trust in the Supreme Court

According to a new Ipsos poll released this week, trust in the court has fallen a whopping 14% in just one year among Republican voters.

A close-up of the U.S. Supreme Court seen under a blue sky.

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This has resulted in only 52% of conservatives saying that they trust the court “a great deal” or “a fair amount”. By comparison, about 66% of Republicans stated this opinion in July of 2023.


Democratic Approval

Meanwhile, Democratic support for the court remains low. Over the past few years, the now conservative-led Supreme Court has made many moves that have upset many liberal Americans.

Many people protesting for abortion outside of the Supreme Court.

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That has led to only 29% of Democrats stating that they trust the court’s justices “a great deal” or “a fair amount.” Surprisingly, this support has gone up 1% from last year.

Overall American Support

While the support levels for the court are incredibly split between conservatives and liberals, the poll’s findings of how all Americans feel about the Supreme Court shed some light on the country as a whole.

A close-up of an American flag at the front of a house.

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As seen in this recent poll, only 39% of Americans stated that they trust the court. This is yet another fall from last year, which saw 43% of Americans approve and trust the Supreme Court.

A Conservative Supreme Court

Many liberal Americans have increasingly lost trust in the Supreme Court over the past few years, ever since the court became a conservative majority in 2020.

The Supreme Court Justices seen in an official photo in 2022.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Since Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s addition to the court — which resulted in a 6-3 conservative majority — many liberals have criticized the various rulings and decisions the court has made.

Overturning Roe v. Wade

Perhaps the most controversial decision of all occurred when the court overturned Roe v. Wade, which allowed states to decide whether they would allow abortion to stay legal in their states.

A protestor holding a sign outside at a pro-abortion rally.

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This decision immediately caused much criticism from many parts of America, especially those in liberal circles.


Other Controversial Rulings

However, the court has had many other controversial rulings since overturning Roe v. Wade that have only made many Americans — seemingly both liberals and conservatives — lose trust in the justices.

A black gun on a black fabric by bullets.

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Since 2020, the court has blocked President Joe Biden’s debt forgiveness program, which was intended to help Americans with student loans. They’ve also allowed gun rights to expand around the country, as well as ended race-conscious admissions in colleges through affirmative action.


Why Republicans Have Stopped Trusting the Supreme Court

Though Republicans still trust the court to some extent, the large 14% drop seen in just one year may seem surprising to many. After all, many of these so-called controversial rulings of the Supreme Court have often been applauded by conservatives throughout the country.

People walking underneath the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Therefore, to see that the court is losing favor even with Republicans has come as a shock to some analysts.


Donald Trump’s Influence

Some experts have claimed that former President Donald Trump’s massive influence over the party and its voters as a whole may be why the Supreme Court has lost some support from conservative Americans.

Donald Trump smiling in front of a blue background.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

After all, ever since Trump has faced legal issues and has been found guilty in criminal cases, he’s attacked the judicial system.


Blaming the Entire System

Some analysts believe this may be why Republicans are losing trust in the Supreme Court. As Trump has attacked the entire judicial system, Republicans have included the Supreme Court in this attack.

The Supreme Court building seen behind a cherry blossom tree in the daytime.

Source: Bill Mason/Unsplash

This may be why fewer conservatives are choosing to trust the court, even though the Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided on a Trump case.


Attacking the Legal System

Chris Jackson, the senior vice president of Ipsos’ public affairs, further detailed why this loss in trust among conservatives may have occurred.

A close-up of a Lady Justice statue.

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“We see a broad-based decline of trust in all facets of the judiciary among Republicans,” Jackson stated. “My guess, supported by the data, is that this is the fruits of the efforts to undermine the credibility of the legal system by Donald Trump and his allies. Most people, and it appears many Republicans, don’t differentiate from the Supreme Court vs. the New York criminal courts. For Trump supporters, it’s all ‘the system’ and it’s all ‘corrupt.'”


Trust in State Court Judges

This lack of trust in the legal system as a whole can also be seen in the poll’s results revolving around state court judges and federal judges.

A close-up of a wooden judge’s gavel on a white marble surface.

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While the majority of Democrats and independents remain trustful of these two judges, Republicans don’t. Only 39% of conservative Americans trust state court judges, while 41% trust federal judges.