Americans Divided Over Court Ruling

Photograph by Kris Connor/Getty Images

Protestors argue about the Affordable Healthcare Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.

Here’s a split decision:

46-46.

That’s the percentage breakdown among adults surveyed about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

The Gallup Poll and USA Today asked Americans if they agree or disagree — 46 percent said they agree, 46 percent said they disagree.

Still, and this has a bearing on the repeal-narrative that Republican Mitt Romney is taking in the aftermath of the ruling: Just 31 percent of those surveyed said they would repeal the law entirely, and one quarter of those surveyed said they’d like Congress to expand the reach of the law.

Predictably, 83 percent of Republicans surveyed said they disagree with the 5-4 ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee to the court. And 79 percent of Democrats surveyed said they agree with the ruling on the signature legislation of Obama’s term, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

For a ruling hailed, in some quarters, for its departure from the predictable partisan lines of the nine-member court, Gallup reports: “nearly two-thirds of Americans see politics as having a heavy hand in the ruling, possibly reflecting a knee-jerk belief among Americans that politics is always a factor.

“ Alternatively,” Gallup’s Lydia Saad writes, “it could specifically reflect the fact that eight of the nine justices voted in politically predictable ways. Or it could reflect a belief on the part of some Americans that Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to side with the four liberal justices may have been influenced by the substantial political implications of the case.”

For whatever reasons, 64 percent of Americans surveyed say politics played too great a role in the court’s decision, while 29 percent disagree.

The survey of 1,012 adults was run in a day, after the court ruled. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

 

 

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