A pretty disturbing poll from Rasmussen: in the wake of June's Supreme Court decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage, a third of Americans now believe that judicial branch should be able to be ignored.
Following last week’s controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage, voters believe more strongly that individual states should have the right to turn their backs on the federal courts.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 33% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe that states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings if their elected officials agree with them. That’s up nine points from 24% when we first asked this question in February. Just over half (52%) disagree, down from 58% in the earlier survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Perhaps even more disturbing is that the voters who feel strongest about overriding the federal courts – Republicans and conservatives - are those who traditionally have been the most supportive of the Constitution and separation of powers. During the Obama years, however, these voters have become increasingly suspicious and even hostile toward the federal government.
Fifty percent (50%) of GOP voters now believe states should have the right to ignore federal court rulings, compared to just 22% of Democrats and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Interestingly, this represents a noticeable rise in support among all three groups.
Fifty percent (50%) of conservative voters share this view, but just 27% of moderates and 15% of liberals agree.
Half of Republicans and half of conservatives no longer believe in the federal judicial branch as a check or balance to the other two branches. I'm betting you'd find even higher numbers among these same groups that the executive branch should be ignored if the mob of WE THE PEOPLE is large enough.
This line of thinking should be terrifying, because we went through it 150 years ago at the cost of hundreds of thousands dead and a war that split the nation.
But we're at the point where tens of millions of Americans no longer believe their government is legitimate simply because they disagree with it. That's not how a representative democracy is supposed to work. It is however a recipe for another disastrous period in American history and one of our two major political parties is now openly advocating for such conflict.
Increasingly I think we're heading for some dark days ahead.