July 18 (UPI) -- Fifty-three percent of Americans approve of the way the highest court in the United States is dispensing its duties, a new survey showed Wednesday.
The positive rating is the highest for the U.S. Supreme Court in nine years and an increase from September's rating of 49 percent. The previous high was near 60 percent in 2009.
The poll was taken after several controversial court rulings at the end of the 2017-2018 term, and after President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Gallup found the respondents' opinions about the high court are influenced by political ideology -- with 72 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of self-identified independents voicing approval of the current court.
Twenty-nine percent say the court's decisions are too conservative, 21 percent say they're too liberal and 44 percent call them "about right."
Overall, 41 percent said they disapprove of the Supreme Court's performance.
Each of the last four presidents has placed two new justices on the bench, and Gallup said approval trends seem to be influenced by which party is in the White House.
In the first Gallup poll on the issue in 2000, 62 percent approved -- which remains the all-time high. The figure fell to a low of 42 percent in 2005, after a controversial decision to expand government powers to seize land by eminent domain. It rose to 48 percent in 2008 at a time of widespread public disapproval of government. Since 2011, the approval rating ranged between 41 and 49 percent, until Wednesday.
The survey asked more than 1,000 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of 4 points.