Supreme Court Expansion
The issue of "packing" the court has been in the news lately. It is a favorite new topic of progressives because the current Supreme Court holds a 6-3 conservative majority, even though conservative justices have sided with liberal justices on important cases in recent memory. Democrats feel the urge to disproportionately change the court's politics to reflect the nation's current left of center tilt. The idea of "packing" the court is not new; it was debated during FDR's reign. The Biden administration looked to study the issue more by creating a commission to look at the viability of "packing" the court and found the idea was not merited now and carried "considerable risks."
We polled the issue and found likely voters were split; a slight plurality (44%) of likely voters disagreed (strongly and somewhat combined) with increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, while 42% agreed (strongly and somewhat combined) with the idea and 13% were not sure.
When it came to region there were no significant differences in agreement and disagreement, among respondents, about expanding the number of Supreme Court justices but there were some differences when it came to gender, men (42% agreed/52% disagreed) were more likely to disagree than women (43% agreed/37% disagreed), while women were some of the most unsure respondents (21%) about the issue.
The surveyed groups who were most likely to agree with increasing the number of justices were voters aged 18-29 (52% agreed/33% disagreed) and 30-49 (52% agreed/31% disagreed), Democrats (65% agreed/20% disagreed), urban voters (54% agreed/29% disagreed), urban men (60% agreed/34% disagreed), union voters (55% agreed/38% disagreed), and African Americans (68% agreed/18% disagreed).
The groups who were most likely to disagree were men (42% agreed/52% disagreed), older voters aged 50-64 (33% agreed/54% disagreed), aged 65+ (32% agreed/58% disagreed), Republicans (24% agreed/63% disagreed), Independent voters (35% agreed/52% disagreed), suburban voters (37% agreed/52% disagreed), rural voters (37% agreed/46% disagreed), Catholic voters (39% agreed/52% disagreed), and upper income voters-$100K+ household income (32% agreed/58% disagreed).
How Many Justices?
Of the 42% who agreed with increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court (19% strongly agreed/23% somewhat agreed), a majority (52%) wanted to add at least one justice and up to four justices to the already nine serving on the court.
Respondents were also prone to adding a substantial number of justices. Thirty percent were agreeable to adding 5-10 judges, while another one in five would add 11+ justices.
30% percent of respondents were open to adding nine to twelve more justices. Answers varied from as few as one justice (22 respondents) to sixty-seven justices (1 respondent).
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
10/08/21 - 10/10/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 896 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 896 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.