The shift follows President George W. Bush's nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, which has changed the ideological balance on the court. Since July 2005, the percentage of people who describe the court as "generally balanced in its decisions" has fallen from 55 percent to 47 percent, The Washington Post-ABC poll found.
The court has made a number of significant rulings, especially upholding a ban on the procedure known as partial-birth abortion and limiting school districts' ability to achieve racial balance through school assignments.
Roberts replaced the reliably conservative William Rehnquist, who died in 2005. Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor, an appointee of former Republican President Ronald Reagan, who tilted liberal on social issues, the Post said.
The poll found that 55 percent approved of the partial-birth abortion ruling. But almost the same percentage, 56 percent, disagreed with the ruling on race-based school assignments.
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