Just before the highly publicized hearing on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, ratings for the U.S. Supreme Court had fallen to the lowest level ever measured by Rasmussen Reports. Now, following the hearings, approval of the court is way up.Ha ha ha ha ha.
Forty-one percent (41%) of Likely U.S. Voters now rate the Supreme Court’s performance as good or excellent, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s up 13 points from 28% in mid-March and is the court’s highest ratings in two-and-a-half years.
It is impossible to know if the improved perceptions of the court came from the hearings themselves, President Obama’s comments cautioning the court about overturning a law passed by Congress, or from other factors. Approval of the court had fallen in three consecutive quarterly surveys prior to the health care hearings.But pay no attention to the polls, Supreme Court Justices. You shouldn't think about your own popularity. And also, the way to be popular is not to think about it.
Should President Obama be kicking himself over this? Maybe not. The jump in popularity is all coming from Republicans, though it's worth noting that Democrats have stayed in the same position and have not lowered their opinion of the Court. And Obama's disparaging of the Court wasn't for the purpose of turning people against the Court. It was more about: 1. prodding Anthony Kennedy his way, 2. laying a basis for defending his law if the Court happens to call it unconstitutional, and 3. setting up the argument that we really need him to appoint the next couple Supreme Court Justices.