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Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act Decision Unpopular: Poll

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Americans have mixed feelings about the Supreme Court's latest rulings, with a majority disapproving of its opinion on the Voting Rights Act, but in favor of two pro-gay marriage opinions, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll released Wednesday.

Just a third said they agree with the court's decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act, while 51 percent disagreed.

Knowledge about, and disapproval of, the VRA decision was especially high among African Americans, 71 percent of whom expressed disagreement with the ruling. Just 3 percent were undecided, while 16 percent of all adults had no opinion.

Other racial groups, however, also disapproved: Hispanic Americans disagreed by 50 percent while 40 percent agreed, and whites disagreed by 48 to 33 percent.

The Supreme Court decisions to expand gay marriage were far more popular, with a majority approving of both. Fifty-one percent supported the ruling that allowed gay marriage in California, while 45 percent opposed it. Approval for the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same-sex couples to receive federal benefits, was even wider, with 56 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving.

Opinions on the gay marriage rulings, like those on the topic generally, remain sharply divided among party lines. Democrats supported the rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 by 68 percent and 62 percent, respectively, compared to just 36 percent and 29 percent among Republicans. Younger adults were also more likely to approve: 67 percent of those ages 18 to 39 approved of the decision on DOMA, while just 41 percent of those 65 and over agreed.

These views on the rulings echo other polling on gay marriage, which generally shows a rising tide in public support that's recently become a majority. An ABC/Post survey in June found that 57 percent of Americans say gay and lesbians should be allowed to marry legally, and 63 percent say that the federal government should give equal benefits to married gay couples.

The most recent poll surveyed 1,005 adults by phone between June 26 and June 30.

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