Americans have always cast a suspect eye on the federal government. It’s in our DNA. But we haven’t seen this amount of distrust since the times leading up to the Civil War.
The Supreme Court didn’t help the central government’s case when rogue justices rewrote Obamacare and declared same-sex marriage is a new right.
The result of all this extra-constitutional activity has awaken the ghost of John C. Calhoun. Rasmussen has a new poll that States’ nullification is on the rise.
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.