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supreme_court
(07/28/08) -

Supreme Court Performance Splits Views in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Fewer American adults are satisfied with the performance of their Supreme Court, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 39 per cent of respondents approve of the way the court is handling its job, down 19 points since April 2007.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Fewer American adults are satisfied with the performance of their Supreme Court, according to a poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 39 per cent of respondents approve of the way the court is handling its job, down 19 points since April 2007.

In the U.S., Supreme Court justices are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. In September 2005, John Roberts was sworn in as the new chief justice. Roberts—who served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit—was ratified in a 78-22 upper house vote. The 50-year-old Roberts became the youngest chief justice in two centuries. In January 2006, the Senate voted 58-42 to confirm the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled—in a 5-4 decision—that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" is not limited to state militias and protects "the inherent right of self-defence." In a separate case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory death penalty for child rape is "unconstitutional."

On Jun. 25, the Supreme Court struck down the so-called "millionaire’s amendment", which was meant to level the playing field when wealthy candidates finance their own political campaigns. Alito wrote: "Different candidates have different strengths. Some are wealthy; others have wealthy supporters who are willing to make large contributions. Some are celebrities; others have the benefit of a well-known family name. Levelling electoral opportunities means making and implementing judgments about which strengths should be permitted to contribute to the outcome of an election. The Constitution confers upon voters, not Congress, the power to choose the members of the House of Representatives."

Polling Data

Do you approve or disapprove of the way the United States Supreme Court is handling its job?

 

Jul. 2008

Aug. 2007

Apr. 2007

Approve

39%

45%

58%

Disapprove

43%

37%

27%

Unsure

18%

17%

15%

Source: Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,783 registered American voters, conducted from Jul. 8 to Jul. 13, 2008. Margin of error is 2.3 per cent.