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A new poll shows the lack of confidence in the Justices amid recent controversies.
A new poll shows the lack of confidence in the Justices amid recent controversies. Photo: Nigel Thompson/AL DÍA News.

New polls reveals 2 in 3 are for term limits or mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices

A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the lack of confidence in the Justices from the American people.

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A new AP-Norc poll revealed the lack of confidence from Americans in Supreme Court Justices amid recent controversy following the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the expansion of gun rights. Two in three Americans favor term limits or a mandatory retirement age for Justices and expressed that they have “hardly any” confidence in them. Over 1,085 people were polled between July 14-17, 2022. 

According to the report, over 67% of Americans favor setting term limits over the current life term that is in place. This includes 82% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans. Those in favor of setting a mandatory retirement age are similarly 64% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans. The Court will not be back to hearing cases until later this year, in October, as they are on Summer break. As it stands, 43% people say they “hardly have” any confidence in the Court, which is in stark contrast to 27% just three months ago. 

Additionally, the poll showed that more Americans are against the Court’s decision on abortion, with over half saying it made them “angry” or “sad.” The poll was conducted weeks after the Court’s landmark decisions on abortion and the expansion of gun rights. Furthermore, another revelation includes dissatisfaction with the Court three months ago, before any of the recent controversial rulings took place. 

The poll shows more Americans disapprove than approve of the Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 53% to 30%, while 16% of people said they did not have an opinion on the matter. But looking at both parties, there is a divide, with 63% of Republicans approving and an overwhelming 80% of Democrats disapproving of the landmark ruling. 

In a poll from April, 18% said they had a “great deal” of confidence, 54% said they had “only some,” and 27% said they had “hardly any.” Now in July, four months after the April poll, 17% say they have a “great deal” of confidence, 39% say they have “only some,” and 43% have “hardly any” confidence, a huge decrease.

Among Democrats specifically, they show a bigger drop in confidence than Republicans. Sixty-four percent of Democrats have “hardly any” confidence, which was 27% back in April. Thirty-one percent of Democrats have “only some'' followed by a lowly 4% who have a “great deal” of confidence. All are down by 17% from the previous poll. 

Republicans however, have had their confidence rise, most likely from the recent Court decisions. Thirty-four percent say they have a “great deal” of confidence, which compared to the April poll is now up 21%. This is followed by 47% who say they have “only some,” and finally 18% that have “hardly any.” 

Despite constitutional rights that allow for justices to serve lifetime terms, a committee commissioned by President Joe Biden was tasked with reviewing changes to the Supreme Court, which includes the term limits. After completing their tasks last year, the group was ultimately divided on whether Congress could actually pass a bill changing the system of justices. This comes as recent judges have served well into their early to mid eighties. 

Two of the oldest judges serving currently, include Justice Clarence Thomas at 74, followed by 72 year old Justice Samuel Alito. Recent additions to the Court have dropped the average age, with Chief Justice John Roberts, 67, and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, 68, and Elena Kagan, 62. The rest are in their 50s, with Neil Gorsuch, 54, Brett Kavanaugh, 57, Amy Coney Barrett, 50, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51.

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