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Survey: Most Americans trust the U.S. Supreme Court

Courtesy of Annenberg Public Policy Center

A recent survey showed that most Americans see the U.S. Supreme Court as a trusted institution.

The latest survey from the Annenburg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania showed two-thirds (68 percent) of those surveyed — 1,104 U.S. adults — trust the highest court in the land to operate in the best interests of the American people, while 70 percent said the court has “about the right amount of power.”

The survey also identified troubling signs in how the Supreme Court and the justices are perceived by the public, suggesting that the distinction between judges and elected politicians is becoming blurred. More than half of Americans (57 percent) agree with the statement that the court “gets too mixed up in politics.” And just half of the respondents (49 percent) hold the view that Supreme Court justices set aside their personal and political views and make rulings based on the Constitution, the law, and the facts of the case.

“Because the well-being of our system of government depends on the integrity of an independent, impartial, fair judiciary and on the public perception that judges honor these expectations, the persistently high levels of trust in the Supreme Court that we find reflected in Annenberg surveys should be celebrated,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Center. “But the finding that half do not believe that Supreme Court justices set aside their personal beliefs in deciding cases is worrisome.”

The survey was conducted in August for the Policy Center in advance of the Fair & Impartial Judiciary Symposium on Oct. 26 at the University of Pennsylvania. Read the full findings here.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been in an especially intense political spotlight ever since Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. President Donald Trump has since nominated conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who were both confirmed.

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