The Pew Research Center found that the Supreme Court’s favorability remains near an all time low: “52% view the court favorably, while 31% view it unfavorably.” They shouldn’t feel too bad about this. They do beat Congress in similar polls, and Obama, coming of his post-reelection bounce, has also fallen below this point.
There is disagreement about the ideology of the court:
The public continues to have mixed perceptions of the Supreme Court’s ideology. A plurality (40%) now say the court is middle of the road, while 24% say it is liberal and about the same share (22%) says it is conservative.
Part of this is due to the lack of knowledge on the part of the public about virtually anything about politics in most polls. This is further promoted by Republicans who do not realize that the court is conservative:
About as many conservative Republicans say the Supreme Court is liberal (45%) as middle of the road (39%). Very few conservative Republicans, just 9%, say the court is conservative.
They might be confused by the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act but that came down to one unexpected vote by one usually conservative Justice. This does not change the overall conservative leanings of the Supreme Court. This might also be affected by the conservative tendency to see anyone who doesn’t toe the extreme right wing line one-hundred percent of the time with no room for any compromise as being too liberal. If Dick Lugar was seen as not being a pure enough conservative by today’s Republican voters, it comes as little surprise that conservatives don’t recognize how conservative the Supreme Court is.