Unpopularity of SCOTUS Citizens United Decision Approaching Constitutional Amendment Levels
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 05:27:34 PM EDT
Earlier this year, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United decision wiping out restrictions on corporate expenditures in American elections -- a decision that could open up the door to foreign money flowing into campaigns in this country. As it turns out, according to a Quinnipiac poll out today, voters are not at all happy with the decision.
Voters disapprove 79 - 14 percent of the Supreme Court's January ruling removing limits on the amount corporations and unions could spend attacking or boosting political candidates, with consistently strong opposition across the political spectrum.
These numbers largely jibe with data released earlier this year by Pew, which found 68 percent of Americans disapproving of the decision, while just 17 percent approved. With margins like these, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a constitutional amendment seeking to overturn the decision is out of the question.
But looking more broadly, it is interesting to see the damage the decision has inflicted on the Court. Just last summer, Quinnipiac found the Supreme Court to have a +40 net approval rating, with 62 percent of the country rating the high court positively and just 22 percent rating it negatively. Today, however, the Court's rating has fallen dramatically to just +16 (49 percent approve / 33 percent disapprove) -- a statistically significant fall for the institution. It turns out that conservative judicial activism isn't actually popular with Americans.