Confidence in Supreme Court hit historic low ahead of abortion ruling, Gallup poll shows
A recent Gallup poll shows Americans have hit their lowest confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices receive praise and backlash for overturning Roe v. Wade, giving states power regarding abortion rights.
"Twenty-five percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court, down from 36% a year ago and five percentage points lower than the previous low recorded in 2014," Gallup said on its website.
The results were based on a poll from June 1 to June 20, days before the abortion ruling was handed down in Washington. However, the poll happened after a draft of the opinion was leaked back in May.
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"Many institutions have suffered a decline in confidence this year, but the 11-point drop in confidence in the Supreme Court is roughly double what it is for most institutions that experienced a decline," researchers said.
The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women’s constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans’ lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court’s overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
The ruling, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents made possible by an emboldened right side of the court fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump.
Pregnant women considering abortions already had been dealing with a near-complete ban in Oklahoma and a prohibition after roughly six weeks in Texas. Clinics in at least eight other states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia — stopped performing abortions after Friday’s decision.
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Abortion foes cheered the ruling, but abortion-rights supporters, including President Joe Biden, expressed dismay and pledged to fight to restore the rights.
Biden said Friday he would fight to preserve access to abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and he called on Americans to elect more Democrats who would safeguard rights upended by the court’s decision. "This is not over," he declared.
"Let’s be very clear, the health and life of women across this nation are now at risk," he said from the White House on what he called "a sad day for the court and the country."
Biden added that "the court has done what it’s never done before — expressly taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans."
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Biden warned that other legal precedents ensuring same-sex marriage and access to birth control could also be at risk.
"This is an extreme and dangerous path this court is taking us on," he said.
The White House and the Justice Department said they would look for ways to blunt the impact of the ruling, and Biden said his administration would try to ensure that abortion medication is available as widely as possible.
However, no executive actions were announced Friday, and Biden conceded that his options were limited. White House officials tried to rally allies in a virtual meeting after the president spoke.
Biden and other Democrats hope to use outrage over the court decision to rally voters in November’s midterm elections. Although nationwide legislation ensuring access to abortion appears out of reach, more Democratic victories at the state level could limit Republican efforts to ban the practice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.