11:21 GMT +322 October 2017
    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is seen during a group portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, in this file photo taken October 8, 2010.

    Doomed: A Third of Americans Never Heard of SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia

    © REUTERS/ Larry Downing
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    A shocking poll from Gallup reveals that while Americans familiar with the controversial and recently deceased United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were nearly split in their opinion of him, nearly a third of the US population has no idea who he was.

    The poll, conducted last year, during Scalia’s 29th year as a Supreme Court justice, found that 29% of those answering the survey held favorable views of the justice, while 27% viewed him unfavorably. More telling was the statistic that 32% of those polled were not aware of the man often referred to as "the most influential justice of the last quarter-century.”

    The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has the final say on heated political issues including abortion, civil rights, same-sex marriage and immigration, so it was thought to be telling that the American public was not familiar with an important figure of that court.

    Scalia had a polarizing personality, and extremely conservative views. He voted twice to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and strongly opposed gay marriage and Affirmative Action. Despite his consistent dissent against liberal issues, his unfavorability rating among Republicans had been on the rise.

    In 2005, 36% of American conservatives viewed Scalia favorably, versus only 7% who held an unfavorable view. By 2015, Scalia's favorable rating with conservatives dropped slightly to 34%, but his unfavorable rating had risen to 26%. Gallup Poll Senior Editor Jeff Jones surmised last year that this may have more to do with overall conservative dissatisfaction with the court, and less to do with Scalia’s votes.

    The poll revealed that overall faith in the court was dropping. When Scalia assumed his position in 1986, 54% of Americans had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, but when polled last June, confidence was at 32%.


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