Two-thirds of Americans would like to see the Supreme Court strike down all or part of ObamaCare, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS. The poll comes as the country awaits the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's signature legislative achievement, which is expected to be handed down sometime before the end of June. During oral arguments in the spring, conservative justices expressed skepticism about the constitutionality of ObamaCare's central provision: The individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health insurance. Here, four takeaways from the latest poll:
1. ObamaCare is still very, very unpopular
According to the poll, 41 percent of Americans would like the high court to overturn the entire law, while another 27 percent said only the individual mandate should be struck down. A mere 24 percent said the justices should uphold the entire law. Republicans are particularly opposed to ObamaCare, with about two-thirds saying the whole law should go. However, the law isn't all that popular with Democrats either, with only 43 percent saying the court should keep the entire law intact.
2. The Supreme Court has political cover
Court watchers have long debated whether the nine justices take public opinion into account when making decisions, and the judges would likely deny any allegation that they did. However, if you're a conservative justice, "and you want to rule against the individual mandate but you're worried about a public backlash, this poll calms your fears," says Ezra Klein at The Washington Post.
3. But the high court is more unpopular than ever
Only 44 percent of Americans "approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices' decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views," say Adam Liptak and Allison Kopicki at The New York Times. The court's "standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century," due to growing distrust of government institutions and suspicions that the court is a nakedly political animal. Only one in eight respondents said the court decides cases on a purely legal basis.
4. Obama's political fortunes are very much on the line
The continued unpopularity of ObamaCare has Democrats complaining that the president "did a terrible job selling the overhaul to the American people," says Donna Cassata of The Associated Press. An ObamaCare defeat at the Supreme Court "could demoralize Democrats" just months before the November election. Indeed, says Erika Johnsen at Hot Air: The crowning achievement of Obama's first term could very well become "the crowning failure of his one-term presidency."