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Americans weigh in on issues before the Supreme Court - CBS News poll

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The latest CBS News poll asked Americans about their views on some issues related to cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which announces its opinions in most cases before adjourning for the summer at the end of June or beginning of July. Here's what we found: 

Immigration and DACA: Widespread support for DACA, with more division on the impact immigrants have on society.

The American public overwhelmingly favors letting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients stay in the U.S. In November, the Supreme Court heard arguments on legal challenges to the Trump administration's decision to end the Obama-era DACA program.

Support for DACA extends across party lines and demographic groups: a large majority of Republicans, as well as almost all Democrats, favor allowing immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children to stay. These views have been consistent for years, and differ from views on immigration more generally.


When asked about the impact of immigration more broadly, Americans have more divided views. More than half of Americans (55%) think immigrants make U.S. society better; a view held by majorities of Democrats and independents. Republicans are more mixed.

Thirty-four percent of Republicans say immigrants make U.S. society better, while 28% say they make things worse, and another quarter say immigrants don't have much effect. Within the GOP, ideology splits Republicans: those who identify as "very conservative" are more inclined to say immigrants have a negative impact than a positive one. 

There is majority support for DACA regardless of views on immigrants' impact overall. 


Roe v. Wade: Most support keeping it in place

Nearly two-thirds of Americans want Roe v. Wade kept in place — including many who would nonetheless like to see abortion more restricted. The high court heard arguments in March that could have nationwide implications for access to abortion

Most Democrats and independents want the ruling kept in place, while Republicans are divided. Views are more related by political party than gender. 


The public's views on abortion and its availability have held fairly steady over the years. Democrats and liberals are more inclined to think abortion should be generally available and Republicans and conservatives are more likely to want limits on abortion, or say it should not be permitted.

Views on the availability of abortion are related to views on Roe v. Wade, specifically. Most Republicans who feel abortion should be available generally or available but with stricter limits also say Roe should be left in place. But Republicans who say abortion should not be permitted at all support overturning Roe.

Republicans who identify as very conservative are more likely than those who are less conservative to say abortion should not be permitted and to support overturning Roe v. Wade. 


As a voting issue, abortion is a deal breaker for some. Four in 10 Americans say the issue is so important to them they could not vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on it..


It is a smaller portion of the public – those who support overturning Roe v. Wade and those who say abortion should not be permitted at all – who feel the issue of abortion is so important that they could not support a candidate who disagreed with them on it. Those who want Roe kept in place and think abortion should be generally available or with some limits are more likely to say they could back a candidate who disagreed with their views.

Gender and religion

Political party and ideology are more related to views on abortion and Roe v. Wade than to gender. Similar majorities of men and women think Roe v. Wade should be kept in place.

A large majority of Democratic women (eight in 10) favor keeping Roe v. Wade, a number that drops to 45% among Republican women.  


Looking at religious affiliation, majorities of both Protestants and Catholics think Roe v. Wade should stand. Most white evangelicals, however, think the ruling should be overturned. 

How frequently one attends religious services plays a role regardless of religious affiliation. 

Those who attend religious services weekly are inclined to feel abortion should not be permitted and to think Roe should be overturned, while those who attend less often support keeping Roe v. Wade in place.

LGBT: Most still see some discrimination, support civil rights protections

There is a widespread support for protections under civil rights laws for gay, lesbians and bisexuals. Eight in 10 Americans think they should have civil rights protections. This includes majorities across all age, partisan and ideological groups. 


A majority of Americans think discrimination exists today against members of the LGBT community. More see "a lot" discrimination against those who are transgender than people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual.


Majorities across demographic and political groups say people who are LGBT face at least some discrimination; Democrats and liberals are more likely to say they face  "a lot" of it. 

Trump's tax returns: Democrats say they should be released, while Republicans disagree

The public is divided along partisan lines on whether it's necessary for President Trump to release his tax returns or not. In May, the high court heard arguments over disputes focusing on requests for the president's financial records from Mr. Trump's accounting firm and several financial institutions as part of investigations by three Houses committees and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance into the president's business dealings.

An increasing number of Republicans don't think the president should release his returns. Large majorities of Democrats have long said his returns should be released, along with a smaller majority of independents.


Today, 81% of Republicans don't think it's necessary for Mr. Trump to release his returns, up from 77% who held that view at the start of his presidency. During the 2016 campaign smaller majorities of Republicans didn't think it was necessary for then-candidate Donald Trump to release his returns.


This poll was conducted by telephone May 29- June 2, 2020 among a random sample of 1,309  adults nationwide.  Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.  Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cellphones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.
The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.


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