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Views on the Supreme Court

The American people are not a model of consistency when it comes to their take on the Supreme Court. The latest Quinnipiac polls tells us:

“A total of 53 percent of American voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” President Obama will make the right decision in nominating a U.S. Supreme Court justice, while 46 percent are “not too confident” or “not confident at all” …

Voters trust the President rather than Senate Republicans 46 – 43 percent to make the right choice for the Supreme Court, but say 48 – 41 percent that Senators who do not agree with the nominee on key issues should filibuster the choice.

American voters approve 49 – 21 percent of the job John Roberts is doing as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and approve 52 – 32 percent of Obama’s nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Court.

The court is too liberal, 29 percent say, while 19 percent say it is too conservative and 40 percent say it is about right. Saying “about right” are 36 percent of self-described liberals, 44 percent of moderates, 38 percent of conservatives and 30 percent of those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party. Voters say 78 – 16 percent that Supreme Court justices allow political views to enter into their decisions.

Huh? They trust the president, but a filibuster is fine to block Obama’s choice. They trust the president but think the current Court (the majority of whose members Obama would never nominate) is just fine. They approve of Roberts, the conservative, textualist scholar, but are delighted with the newest justice, who is neither of those things. Well, suffice it to say there’s something in there for everyone, and the public has become exceptionally cynical about the politicization of the Court.


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