53% Believe Supreme Court Justices Guided By Their Own Sense of Right and Wrong

When making decisions, a majority of voters (53%) believes that Supreme Court justices pay more attention to their own perception of right and wrong rather than the literal text of the Constitution. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey also found that an even larger majority–63%–want the Justices to pay more attention to the literal text of the Constitution.

Despite these doubts, 63% at least somewhat approve of the way the Supreme Court is performing its role. That’s little changed from a month ago. Also unchanged is the sense that the Court is fairly balanced from an ideological perspective. Thirty-two percent (32%) believe the Court is too conservative, 28% say too liberal, and 40% believe it’s about right.

Data released earlier shows that 64% of voters believe that freedom is more important than democracy.  However, just 32% believe that the federal government respects the right of Americans to live in freedom. Only 33% believe the United States today truly offers liberty and justice for all.

Among the freedoms confirmed in the Bill of Rights, voters rate the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and freedom of religion as the most important.

This survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted for ScottRasmussen.com on September 12-13, 2018 by HarrisX, a leading research firm specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). The statistical margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. It is presented to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).

The Constitution was signed 231 years ago today with an elaborate system of checks and balances. Some have argued that such a system makes it too difficult for the government to act and address national concerns. However, just 30% of voters want to make it easier for the government to act quickly. That figure includes 35% of Democrats, 29% of Independents, and 25% of Republicans (see crosstabs).

Related data on the role of the federal government in society showed that 71% recognize that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the world than all eight U.S. presidents who have served since the founding of Apple and Microsoft.

The reality that culture and technology lead the nation forward while politics and politicians lag behind is a central theme in my most recent book: The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not. Among other factors, the book notes that even in the 21st century, our nation retains a deep cultural commitment to the nation’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance. It is this commitment that makes me optimistic about our nation despite the failures of our political system.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).



Posted in Poll Results

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