Americans are split over the Supreme Court's recent rulings on a handful of controversial issues, according to a new poll.

A solid majority, 55 percent, believe the government should recognize same-sex marriages and gay couples should get the same rights as straight people, a USA Today poll found. Forty percent disagreed.

The support for same-sex marriage is the highest since the issue was first polled in 1996.

That jibes with what the Supreme Court ruled last week when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and dismissed a case dealing with California's Prop 8, a state ban on gay marriage, effectively killing the ban. According to the poll, 48 percent agreed that the court should have found DOMA unconstitutional, while 43 percent believed it should have been upheld.

But Americans disagreed with the high court's decision to upend a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act. By a 49 percent to 40 percent margin, voters said the court was wrong to strip a requirement that nine states, mostly in the South, get federal approval before changing voting laws. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said Congress must update the formula to determine which states discriminate and should be subject to federal oversight.

Voters also overwhelmingly believe that affirmative action policies are still necessary in America today, 53 percent to 37 percent. The Supreme Court recently ruled in a University of Texas case that colleges could still use race as a factor in its admission process, but made it more difficult for them to do so.

Public opinion of the high court remains low for an institution that for decades fared better than its counterparts on Pennsylvania Avenue. The country is split, 43 percent to 44 percent, on whether the Supremes are doing a good job, the lowest point in eight years, according to USA Today. About one-third say the court's too liberal, two in five say it's too conservative and just 37 percent say it's just right  a two-decade low.