Americans are split on increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new national Marquette University Law School Poll.
Some Dems have pushed the idea of expanding the court beyond the current configuration of nine justices after Republicans shortly before the November election confirmed Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.
The new poll found 48 percent of American adults favor increasing the number of justices, while 51 percent were opposed.
Independents opposed the change 44-56, while Republicans opposed it 3-to-1 and Dems supported it by nearly the same margin.
The poll also found U.S. adults approve of the way President Biden is doing his job 58-42. It also found 60 percent approve of the way the U.S. Supreme Court is doing its job, while 39 percent disapproved.
Among the three branches of government, Congress fared the worst at 33-66.
Approval for the court has dropped 6 points since the September poll, when 66 percent overall approved of its performance.
Much of that decline is due to fewer Republicans approving of the court even as the conservative majority increased.
The September 2020 poll, taken before liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, found 80 percent of Republicans approved of the court’s performance, while 19 percent disapproved.
Even with Comey joining the bench and an expanded conservative majority at 6-3, only 57 percent of Republicans in the latest poll approved of the court’s performance. For Dems, it was 59 percent, largely unchanged from 57 percent in September.
The Marquette Law School Poll has previously surveyed public opinion about the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 and 2020. The new poll is an expansion of the effort with a similar national survey conducted every other month for the next year.
The first of those polls was conducted July 16-26. It included 1,010 adults nationwide and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. SSRS Opinion Panel conducted the interviews online, and the results were weighted to match the U.S. adult population.
See more on the results here.
See a conversation between pollster Charles Franklin and the law school’s Mike Gousha on the results: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsRJ5plNOWs