If Chief Justice William Rehnquist retires soon, the nation will be riveted by the battle to confirm his successor. A new Pew Research Center poll indicates that the standing of the court has plummeted. In 1997, 78% said they had a favorable opinion of the court. In 2001, it was 61%. Now, it is 57%.
“Favorable opinions of the Supreme Court among both conservative Republicans and white evangelical Protestants have declined by about 20 points since January 2001,” the Pew poll found.