An overwhelming majority of voters would support sweeping reforms to the Supreme Court, as trust and confidence in the institution has eroded in recent years, according to a new survey by the Democratic-aligned firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
Wide majorities disagree with the recent 5-4 party-line rulings that have upended a century of campaign finance law and tilted the rules in favor of the extremely wealthy and major corporations. The landmark Citizens United ruling was opposed by a whopping 80-18 margin. The more recent McCutcheon decision, which lifted caps on total giving, was said by a 51 percent majority to be likely to create more corruption, while 8 percent suggested it would lead to less.
By a 60-36 spread, those surveyed said that Supreme Court justices were more likely to be carrying out a personal or political agenda than working to render a fair and impartial judgment, an opinion that cut across party lines. John Roberts swore before Congress during his confirmation hearings that he had great respect for precedent. But once confirmed as chief justice, he embarked on a remarkable run of conservative judicial activism that has favored the wealthy while undermining affirmative action and protection for voting rights.
Overall approval of the Supreme Court has been falling since its 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision handed the presidency to George W. Bush in 2000, according to Gallup.
Big majorities in the GQR poll said that Supreme Court justices should no longer be appointed for life, that cameras should be allowed in the courtroom and that justices should disclose financial conflicts of interest and be bound by ethics rules.