Republicans Fall Out of Love with Supreme Court

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A Tea Party supporter outside the Supreme Court.

Despite an alleged aversion to “judicial activism,” Republican voters applauded as the Supreme Court’s 5-4 conservative majority reversed precedents and overturned legislation, most notably in the Citizens United case removing limits on corporate campaign spending.

The ruling led to an explosion of mostly pro-Republican groups spending millions on elections without disclosing their donors.

A Quinnipiac University poll in April found 62 percent of Republicans approving of the job the Supreme Court was doing, compared with 44 percent of Democrats voicing approval for the high court.

Then came the health-care decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court’s four liberals to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a law designed to provide insurance to millions of Americans without coverage while reducing the federal deficit.

All of a sudden, Republicans fell out of love with the Supreme Court.

A Quinnipiac survey taken last week, after the health-care decision, found only 35 percent of Republicans approving of the way the court was doing its job. A majority, 54 percent, disapproved.

Peter Brown, the polling institute’s assistant director, said: “It’s obvious there is great disappointment among conservatives” that the court upheld the law.

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