Polls show majority of Americans oppose plan to expand Supreme Court

A number of Democratic lawmakers have pushed proposals to expand the U.S. Supreme Court by adding four new justices and effectively shifting its ideological balance back in their favor.

While progressive voters might be inclined to support the idea, it remains widely opposed by a majority of Americans overall, according to a new poll.

Multiple polls signal trend

As Rasmussen Reports found in its survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters earlier this month, the court-packing scheme remains a non-starter across much of the country.

In fact, 55% of respondents rejected the idea outright. One in three supported it and another 13% were unsure.

The polling results came on the heels of a proposal introduced on Capitol Hill that sought to expand the nation’s highest court. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, appeared to reject the idea, declaring that she had “no plans” to bring it to a vote on the House floor.

Among respondents to the recent poll, 77% of Republicans remained opposed to the idea, as did 58% of voters who are not affiliated with either major party. Among Democrats, a narrow majority — 54% — favored the proposal.

In response to a more specific question explicitly referencing an expansion from nine to 13 justices, pollsters found similar results, with 52% of overall responses signaling either strong or moderate opposition. Only about four in 10 said they “strongly” or “somewhat” favored it.

Steady opposition continues

Aside from this poll, there have only been a handful of major surveys focused on the hot-button political issue. Reuters-Ipsos polled just over 1,000 U.S. adults and found that 38% favored expanding the court, 42% opposed the plan, and the remaining respondents were unsure.

Fox News recently revisited a batch of polls conducted last year during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and found similar responses to questions about the possibility of packing the court.

In October, for example, a New York Times/Siena poll found that 58% of likely voters opposed the plan compared to 31% who supported it. Eleven percent were unsure.

Likewise, an ABC News/Washington Post survey in late September determined that 54% of respondents rejected the idea, 32% approved, and 12% were undecided.

There remains more bipartisan agreement on one related issue, however. The Reuters-Ipsos survey found that 63% of respondents favored imposing term limits on Supreme Court justices, compared to just 22% who opposed. The Rasmussen poll signaled that half of those surveyed were in favor of term limits, compared to 35% who were not.

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