June 24, 2013

Final Court Rulings: Public Equally Interested in Voting Rights, Gay Marriage

Overview

A new poll finds that the public is as interested in the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the Voting Rights Act as in its long-awaited decisions on same-sex marriage.6.24.13. 1

Roughly a third of Americans (35% each) say they are very interested in both how the court will rule on whether parts of the Voting Rights Act are still necessary and on federal and state laws on gay marriage.

A third (33%) express little or no interest in how the court rules on the Voting Rights Act, while 40% say they are not too or not at all interested in the court’s rulings on gay marriage.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted June 20-23 among 1,005 adults, before the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday on affirmative action in college admissions. About three-in-ten (31%) had said they were very interested in that decision.

There are wide racial differences in interest in all three court rulings. More whites than blacks say they are very interested in the same-sex marriage6.24.13. 2 decisions (37% vs. 23%). Blacks express much more interest than whites in both the voting rights and affirmative action decisions.

Blacks, in particular, express a great deal of interest in both the voting rights and affirmative action decisions (56% each). About a third (32%) of whites say they are very interested in the voting rights ruling while 25% are very interested in the affirmative action ruling.

There are no partisan differences in interest in the court’s upcoming decisions on same-sex marriage: 39% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats are very interested, as are 34% of independents.

But there are wide partisan differences in interest in the voting rights and affirmative action decisions. A plurality of Democrats (44%) are very interested in the court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act, compared with about three-in-ten Republicans (32%) and independents (30%). On the affirmative action case, 42% of Democrats were very interested in the decision, compared with 25% of Republicans and 27% of independents.

Cite this publication: “Final Court Rulings: Public Equally Interested in Voting Rights, Gay Marriage.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2013) http://www.people-press.org/2013/06/24/final-court-rulings-public-equally-interested-in-voting-rights-gay-marriage/, accessed on July 23, 2014.