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SCOTUS Approval Drops After Leak       05/25 06:16


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Public approval of the Supreme Court has fallen following 
the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision 
guaranteeing abortion rights nationwide, according to a poll.

   Disapproval of the nation's highest court was especially pronounced among 
the roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults who oppose overturning Roe, while support 
for the court was high among those in favor, according to the Marquette Law 
School Poll, which also found increased partisan polarization in approval.

   The draft opinion obtained by Politico would overrule Roe and Planned 
Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to end a 
pregnancy. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft was authentic and 
ordered an investigation, led by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley, to try to 
find the source of the leak.

   The official opinion is expected to be released sometime in the next month. 
The case involves a Mississippi law that would prohibit abortion after 15 
weeks, but if the justices go further and eliminate the abortion right first 
announced in Roe, roughly half the states are expected to ban or severely 
restrict abortion.

   In the Marquette poll, 55% disapprove of the court, up from 45% in March. 
Approval was down a corresponding 10 percentage points, from 54% to 44%.

   Among people who oppose overturning Roe, 74% disapproved of the court in the 
new poll, compared with 54% in March. Eighty-four percent of those who favor 
jettisoning the court's main abortion precedents voiced approval of the 
institution, up from 65% two months ago.

   Approval was fairly steady among Republicans from March to May, but fell 
sharply among Democrats and slightly among independents.

   The survey, conducted starting about a week after the leaked document, shows 
further erosion in public support for the court; confidence in the court had 
started to decline in polling last year.

   In September, the Marquette Law School Poll, among other surveys, found a 
drop in approval of the court following its vote to allow a restrictive Texas 
abortion law to take effect.

   Views on abortion in the new poll were consistent with earlier surveys, with 
about two-thirds of U.S. adults saying they oppose overturning Roe.

   Other polls, including those conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center 
for Public Affairs Research, also have consistently shown only about 1 in 10 
Americans want abortion to be illegal in all cases. A majority are in favor of 
abortion being legal in all or most circumstances, but polls indicate many also 
support restrictions especially later in pregnancy.

   The new Marquette poll showed Americans were evenly divided over the 
Mississippi law outlawing most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, similar 
to views earlier in the year.


   The poll of 1,004 adults was conducted May 9-19 using a sample drawn from 
the probability-based SSRS Opinion Panel, which is designed to be 
representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all 
respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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