Courts Still Most Trusted Branch of Government
Voters continue to have more confidence in the court system than any other branch of government, according to a national survey released by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
“Total confidence” figures in the State of the State Courts survey put the U.S. Supreme Court at 71 percent, the state court system at 68 percent, the executive branch at 52 percent, and legislative branch at 41 percent.
The survey of 1,000 registered voters last November found that public perceptions of the courts have risen across the board compared to a NCSC survey in April 2012, including an 8 percent increase in the number of people who think courts are fair and impartial.
Key findings of the 2014 survey include:
- Seventy-one percent of respondents agree with the statement that courts in their state “treat people with dignity and respect.”
- Forty-six percent agree that state court judges make decisions based more on their own beliefs and political pressure.
- Seventy-two percent who had direct interaction with the courts said they were satisfied with fairness of the process.
The survey showed there’s a strong demand for greater availability of online services, especially among those under 40 years old. Ohio courts are already using technology to enhance service to the public, including online access to court records and electronic payment of court costs and fines.