Perhaps the most publicized decision of the recently completed Supreme Court term was the one rendered in the Seattle schools case which, at a minimum, restricted the ability of school districts to consider race in assigning students to particular schools. I wrote about that decision here and here.
The Court’s decision didn’t seem very popular with certain MSM outlets, but apparently the public feels quite comfortable with it. According to a Quinnipiac poll, American voters agree with the decsion by a margin of 71-24. Republican voters agree with the decision 79-17 percent, while Democrats agree 64-30 percent.
I can’t be sure from the press release of the precise wording of the question Quinnipiac put to the respondents, but it views the decision as holding that “public schools may not consider an individual’s race when deciding which students are assigned to specific schools.” I have argued that this view overstates what the Court decided, particularly given Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if the public overwhelmingly agreed that race should never be considered when making public school assignment decisions. Race neutral propositions consistently win at the ballot box, even when tested in liberal states like Michigan, California, and Washington.
The poll shows that voters approve by a 45-37 percent margin of the job the Supreme Court is doing. That’s down from a 58-37 percent approval in May (before the Court decided most of its difficult cases), and close to the Court’s lowest approval, 44 – 39 percent from May 2005. However, it’s a significantly higher approval rating than the other two branches of government can claim.
There’s much else in the poll to chew on. For example, on the subject of abortion, 21 percent of respondents say it should be legal in all cases; 36 percent say it should be legal in most cases; 24 percent say it should be illegal in most cases; and only 13 percent say it should be illegal in all cases. This may help explain why Rudy Giuliani does better than his Republican rivals in the head-to-head polling match-up with Hillary Clinton.
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