Opinions and Legal Insights

Gallup Poll: Voters Do Not Support Claims Of A “Packed” Supreme Court

We have been discussing the recent talking point emerging from the Biden campaign and Democratic leaders on court packing. While continuing to refuse to state their position on packing the Supreme Court to create an ideological majority, various Democratic figures have been calling the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett (and all of the Trump nominees) a form of court packing. A recent Gallup poll found only 32 percent of voters thought that the Supreme Court was dominated by conservatives.

This weekend, Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.)  on Fox News Sunday said that the Barrett nomination “constitutes court packing.” Both Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Cal.) have also referred to nominating conservatives a court packing. Harris said in the debate that if you want “to talk about court packing . . . I have witnessed appointments for lifetime appointments to federal courts…People who are purely ideological, who have been reviewed and found to have been not competent, or substandard.”  Harris has previously said that she believes packing the Court is a worth considering.

The polls show that most Americans are against court packing. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 55 percent of Americans opposed any court packing plan and only 27 percent was in favor of the idea. The problem is that the Democratic base is more divided with some Democratic voters calling for extreme measures if the Democrats take over both Congress and the White House. Rather than irritate those voters, the Democrats are saying that voters will have to wait until after they elect Biden to know whether they are pack the Court.

However, in the Gallup poll, 42 percent of voters view the court as evenly split. Only 32 percent felt it was too conservative and 23 percent said it was too liberal. Those last two numbers reflect the same percentage at the extremes of our political debate of roughly 25 – 30 percent of voters. The rest of us are in the middle.

Notably, 58 percent of Democrats stated that the court has shifted too far to the right.  However, that leaves 42 percent even among Democrats who are not signing on with this packing narrative.

When asked if the Court is balanced ideologically, 48 percent of independents said that it was balanced.

The polling confirms the view that this narrative is tailored for the 25-30 percent of Democratic voters who are seeking extreme measures if they gain control of the Congress and the White House.  It also suggests a likely bait-and-switch in the making after the election.