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New Poll: The American People Want Supreme Court Reform

By Tyler Cooper, FTC senior researcher

Should we have term limits for Supreme Court justices? The answer is “yes” according to 67% of respondents of a new Morning Consult/Politico poll. Only 18% say they’d disapprove of term limits.

Put another way, the favorability of SCOTUS term limits is polling at a +49% with the American people.

Ending life tenure generally proved popular, with 63% approving of the prospect of an age cap on SCOTUS justices and only 23% disapproving of such a limit.

The same poll also showed that 74% would approve, while only 11% would disapprove, of binding Supreme Court justices to a code of ethics. That’s good for a +63% favorability rating.

“Adopting transparency measures, such as live-streaming of oral arguments and decisions?” 67% would approve, 15% would disapprove — coming out to a measure of +52% favorable.

These results come as no surprise — the Supreme Court’s approval has been on a downward spiral for quite some time — but they should provide a boost to the pending legislation in the House and Senate.

We’ve already been seeing a flurry of interest in judiciary reform on the Hill, headlined by passage of the Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act, which will subject members of the judiciary to comparable financial reporting requirements already required of members of Congress.

This week the House Judiciary Committee passed the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal and Transparency Act, which would strengthen the recusal statute and require the Supreme Court to write and adopt its own code of conduct.

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