Supreme Court doesn’t need to watch the polls
It’s no secret that the American Public doesn’t much care for the government it elects. Poll after poll shows the approval rating for Congress bouncing along the ground not much higher than the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. President Obama’s approval rating isn’t much different that his popular vote margin.
And now, the Pew Research poll shows the Supreme Court’s favorability rating has dipped below 50 percent. The survey shows 48 percent have a favorable opinion of the court, while 38 percent have an unfavorable rating.
The Supreme Court has issued a lot of hot-button opinions lately. It lost a lot of black citizens’ approval when it stuck down most of the Voting Rights Act, and it lost a lot of conservatives with its decisions on same sex marriage.
In a classic case of not being able to please anyone, more than half of conservatives thought the court was too liberal, while 40 percent of liberals thought it was too conservative.
Of course, it makes no difference to the members of the Supreme Court what we think. They are appointed for life and serve without having to run for election. They are immune to the vagaries of public opinion. This was the aim of our founding fathers, to have an appointed court that is free from political pressure. The Supreme Court has the ability to examine the cases and arguments brought before it, and apply the law and the constitution without fear of disapproving reaction from the voters.
It not a perfect system, of course. No human endeavor is ever perfect. But the Supreme Court has been doing its job since 1789, and doing a pretty decent job, for the most part. It will withstand a few disappointing opinion poll results.