From a new Gallup Poll:
As the U.S. Supreme Court begins its 2011-2012 term, Americans’ approval of the institution is now 46%, a drop of 5 percentage points in the last year and 15 points in the last two years. Since 2000, Gallup has recorded only one approval rating of the high court that is lower than today’s: 42% in June 2005.
The new rating comes from Gallup’s annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 8-11. Americans have generally rated the Supreme Court positively; only once since 2000 have more disapproved than approved.
The Supreme Court is in theory a nonpartisan institution, one that is above politics. But the same forces that have caused Americans to lose trust in the presidency and Congress appear to be affecting the way Americans view the Supreme Court. In addition to the public’s lower level of trust in the judicial branch of the federal government today than in recent years, the Supreme Court’s approval ratings — like those of Congress and the president — are in the lower range historically.
Here are the graphs: