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Monday, April 09, 2012

Supreme Court’s Ratings Jump Following Health Care Hearings

By Susan Duclos

Overall opinion of the Supreme Court, among U.S. Likely Voters, has risen since mid-March by 13 percentage points and is now at 41 percent that rate Supreme Court’s performance as good or excellent. 35 percent rate the High Court as fair. Only 19 percent give the Supreme Court a poor rating.

While no specific reason is named for their rise in popularity, the recent events of the three day Obamacare hearings on the constitutionality of Obama's health care law, and Barack Obama's public gaffes concerning the Court, has put the highest Court in the country into the spotlight in that time frame.

The jump in ratings is largely among Republicans and Independents that are not affiliated with either major political party.

The partisan turnaround in views of the court is noticeable. Three weeks ago, 29% of Republicans gave the Supreme Court positive marks for its job performance; now that number has climbed to 54%. Similarly, among voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties, good or excellent ratings for the court have increased from 26% in mid-March to 42% now. Democrats’ views of the court are largely unchanged.

Among all voters, 28% now think the Supreme Court is too liberal, 29% say it’s too conservative, and 31% believe the ideological balance is about right. The number who view the court as too liberal is down five points from a month ago.

Recent polling has also found that by two-to-one, 30 percent to 15 percent, U.S. Likely voters believe the Supreme Court does not limit the government enough with 40 percent thinking the balance is about right.

Gallup poll findings show that 72 percent of Americans feel Obamacare is not constitutional, 56 percent of Democrats feel that way, 70 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Republicans. Even 54 percent of those that think the obamacare law is good say the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Rasmussen finds that 50 percent of Likely Voters want the Supreme Court to overturn Obama's health care law and 54 percent predict they will.

Public opinion has remained largely unchanged since before the passage of Obama and the Democrats' health care law over two years ago, with majorities and pluralities, depending on which organization is doing the survey, of U.S. voters opposed to the law and specifically opposed to the individual mandate which forces Americans to purchase health care insurance or be penalized.

With a Supreme Court ruling due in June or July, just a few short months before the November elections, Obamacare will once again likely be a factor in how the American electorate casts their votes in all elections for the House, the Senate, and the presidential election as it was for the 2010 midterms when Republicans won the largest turnover of Congressional seats seen in decades.

Especially with headlines like the one from The Hill this morning, blaring "White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law."

The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.

The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.

Should the Supreme Court strike down what the Obamacare administration considers the heart of the Obamacare law, the individual mandate, that is half a billion dollars taxpayers will have watched being flushed right down the toilet.