What a difference a single court decision can make. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s monumental decision on President Obama’s healthcare reform law, Republican opinions of the court and Chief Justice John G. Roberts have plummeted, while Democrats now view both more favorably, according to a new Gallup poll.
The court’s 5-4 decision held that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was constitutional when defined as a tax. It was met with howls from conservatives who wanted the court to strike down all the provisions of the president’s healthcare law, and cheers from the left for leaving most of the measure intact.
The reaction to the decision was reflected in Gallup’s polling, as sentiments about the court are split sharply along party lines. Since Gallup last asked questions about the Supreme Court in September 2011, disapproval of it among Republicans jumped 32 points to 64% from 32%, while approval dropped 21 points to 29% from 50%. Among Democrats, disapproval dropped 16 points to 25% from 41% and approval increased 22 points to 68% from 46%.
Overall, the percentage of Americans who approve of the way the Supreme Court is conducting itself was 46%, which tied the second-lowest ranking over the last 11 years. Disapproval of the court sits at its second-highest level during the same time frame at 45%.