Supreme Court approval ticks up in new poll

The Supreme Court’s approval rating ticked up from one of its lowest ratings in modern history, rising to 44 percent, according to a new poll.

The poll from Marquette University Law School showed the court’s approval rating rose 4 points from a poll conducted in September. The rating had previously dropped to 38 percent in a poll in July in the aftermath of the court overturning Roe v. Wade, which established a federal right to abortion, in June.

Approval of the court in the new poll was largely split along partisan lines, with 70 percent of Republicans approving of it but only 28 percent of Democrats doing so. Only 40 percent of independents surveyed said they approve of the court.

Pollsters asked respondents how they view the court’s ideology, and a plurality of 36 percent said they believe the court is somewhat conservative, while 32 percent said it is moderate. A quarter said the court is very conservative, while only 8 percent said it is somewhat liberal or very liberal.

The results come as new controversy has arisen surrounding the court following a New York Times report that the former leader of an evangelical organization learned of the court’s ruling in a 2014 case ahead of the decision being released. The former leader, the Rev. Rob Schenck, alleges that a donor to his organization had dinner with Justice Samuel Alito and his wife and called Schenck to share the information after the meal.

Alito has denied that he or his wife had any involvement in leaking the ruling. Part of the Marquette poll was conducted before the report about the 2014 case emerged.

A draft opinion of the court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the recent abortion rights case — leaked a few weeks before the decision was published.

Multiple justices, including Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts, have defended the court’s legitimacy in recent months amid questions that arose following that leak and the court’s eventual ruling.

The new poll was conducted from Nov. 15 to 22 among 1,004 adults. The margin of error was 3.7 points.

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