Supreme Court approval rating falls to one of lowest yet as justices consider Trump cases

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The Supreme Court’s approval rating has plunged to one of its lowest levels yet ahead of a ruling on Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for president.

The approval rating of the nation’s highest court stands at 40 per cent, according to the latest poll released by Marquette Law School on Wednesday.

The latest numbers rival only those of July 2022, when only 38 per cent of US adults said they approved of the Supreme Court and 61 per cent disapproved – just after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

The overall rating remains largely unchanged from November last year, when 41 per cent of respondents approved of the institution. However, the latest numbers represent a dramatic drop from 2020, when 66 per cent of respondents approved and 33 per cent disapproved.

Among Democrats, the latest poll numbers are even more dismal, with just 27 per cent saying they approve of the court and 73 per cent saying they disapprove of it. That is a dramatic drop from the 60 per cent approval and 39 per cent disapproval rating among Democrats in 2020.

The Supreme Court’s approval rating has plunged to one of its lowest levels ye (EPA)
The Supreme Court’s approval rating has plunged to one of its lowest levels ye (EPA)

Meanwhile, 57 per cent of Republicans said they approve of the Supreme Court in the latest poll, while 43 per cent said they disapprove. In 2020, 78 per cent said they approve of the nation’s highest court, while 20 per cent disapproved.

The latest iteration of the poll was conducted between 5 and 15 February – a period that saw the nine justices hear arguments concerning Mr Trump’s eligibility to stay on the primary ballot in Colorado.

In December, the Supreme Court in Colorado ruled that the former president is ineligible to run in 2024 because of the 14th amendment’s ban on insurrectionists while holding office – and Mr Trump’s conduct on 6 January 2021, when he attempted to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

Section 3 of the 14th amendment of the constitution prohibits anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding public office.

Shenna Bellows, Maine’s secretary of state, quickly followed by disqualifying Mr Trump from the ballot for similar reasons.

Maine’s Superior Court has so far declined to issue a ruling on the matter, instead waiting for the US Supreme Court’s ruling around Mr Trump’s future on the ballot in Colorado.

Donald Trump is facing a raft of legal cases (Getty Images)
Donald Trump is facing a raft of legal cases (Getty Images)

So far, the Supreme Court justices have appeared to doubt the state of Colorado’s authority to strike Mr Trump from the ballot without permission from Congress, with Chief Justice John Roberts arguing that allowing states to have that control would be “at war” with the Constitution.

However, the case still hangs in the balance, with the court’s justices expected to release opinions on several cases in the coming days.

In a separate case, the Supreme Court is also set to decide whether to intervene in the dispute over whether Mr Trump can claim immunity from prosecution for his role in the January 6 insurrection.

While the former president has claimed presidential immunity protects him from virtually all acts committed while in office, the US Court of Appeals disagreed, arguing in a unanimous decision that “any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution”.

Mr Trump has asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block the ruling, arguing that it will “radically disrupt” his “ability to campaign against President Biden” in the 2024 election.

If the Supreme Court opts to consider the former president’s immunity arguments, it will place the institution at the centre of one of the nation’s most politically charged and polarising cases ahead of the 2024 general election.

The Marquette survey interviewed 1,003 adults nationwide and had a margin of error of +/-4.3 percentage points.