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Obama disapproves of the Supreme Court, but a majority of Americans disagrees with him

October 7, 2010 |  5:38 am

Supreme Court's private Conference Room

Although President Obama has now appointed two of its nine members, he' s taken to criticizing the Supreme Court frequently this year, including one awkward moment directly to justices' faces during the nationally-televised State of the Union address.

Hey, he's from Chicago.

During the 1.71 years of the Obama administration, Americans' approval of several major institutions has declined.

Here's the good news -- sort of -- for the White House: Americans approve of the Democrat's job performance there way more than they do the job being done by the Democratic majorities in Congress.

Now, the bad news: A significantly larger percentage of Americans approve of the job performance of the Supreme Court justices than the guy knocking their decisions.

As the court begins its new term this week, a new Gallup Poll finds that the slimmest....

...majority (51%) approves of the court's work, although a growing one-third have come to see the court as "too liberal." Obama's performance attracts only 44% support now, while Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, is way down there with -- ouch -- 18% approval. (And that probably includes their families and staffs!)Democrat president Barack Obama looks happy

Contrary to their party's leader, Democrats are the driving force behind higher popular court approval, although support for the court has fallen across the board. The highest approval this century (62%) came during 2001, with last year's 61% nearly matching it.

Approvals of Congress, Obama and the court have trended downward since, along with a general souring of the national mood.

The record low court approval point came in mid-2005 (42%) after justices approved an expansion of government powers to seize private land.

Despite a spike to 32% in opinion that the court was "too conservative" near the end of the Bush presidency, a subsequent trend sees the nation's highest judicial body as "too liberal" -- from 21% in 2008 to 28% last year to 32% currently. A plurality (43%) sees the court's decision as "about right" right now, down from 50% last year.

Stay tuned for further changes once the court issues decisions this term on such volatile issues as illegal immigrants, privacy of information and free speech.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Steve Petteway (Supreme Court's private conference room); Associated Press (a happy president).