Public Policy Polling has completed a national poll on how Americans view the Supreme Court of the United States. Interestingly, 36% of Americans believe it is too liberal despite the fact that conservatives control five of the nine seats.
Who is the most popular Justice? That honor belongs to Justice Anthony Kennedy who is closely followed by Justice Sonia Sotomayor who is also the best known Justice!
Here is the polling firms report:
-Americans overall have a negative opinion of the Supreme Court- 42% see it unfavorably, with just 33% holding a positive opinion. Democrats have a narrowly positive opinion of it (39/37) while both Republicans (29/44) and independents (31/46) have pretty unfavorable views.
-Only 29% of Americans think the Supreme Court is ideologically 'about right' with 36% believing it's too liberal and 30% that it's too conservative. Voters in both parties think the Court is stacked to the other side- 59% of Republicans think the Court is too liberal to 26% who think it's about right, and 49% of Democrats think it's too conservative to 33% who think it's about right.
-There's a wide range in how well known the various members of the Supreme Court are to the public. Sonia Sotomayor is the best known with 74% name recognition, followed by Clarence Thomas at 68%, Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 64%, Antonin Scalia at 58%, Elena Kagan at 55%, John Roberts at 48%, Samuel Alito at 47%, Anthony Kennedy at 41%, and Stephen Breyer at 35%.
-Even though he's one of the least well known justices, Kennedy has the best net favorability of them all at +9 (25/16). That's because he's the only one who's seen positively by both Democrats (29/16) and Republicans (21/14).
The next most popular after Kennedy is Sotomayor at +8 (41/33). Others in positive territory are Ginsburg at +6 (35/29), Breyer at +3 (19/16), and Kagan at +1 (28/27).
-The more conservative members of the Court tend to also be the ones less popular with the public. Chief Justice John Roberts has the worst net favorability rating at -8 (20/28) largely because Republicans only narrowly like him following the Obamacare decision (22/21) while Democrats still have a pretty negative opinion of him (16/36). Samuel Alito (23/24), Antonin Scalia (27/31), and Clarence Thomas (31/37) all have negative marks as well, in each case because Democrats dislike them to a greater extent than Republicans see them in a positive light.
-Sotomayor's favorability with Hispanics is 62/19, while Thomas' with African Americans is 22/52.