Poll: Public Backs John Roberts for Supreme Court, Wants Abortion Info

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poll: Public Backs John Roberts for Supreme Court, Wants Abortion Info Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 21, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Another poll on the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court shows a majority of Americans want to know where he stands on the issue of abortion. The poll also shows a majority of the public favors his nomination and wants the Senate to confirm him.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 59 percent of Americans say the Senate should vote to confirm Roberts while just 23 percent say it should not. The rest were undecided.

The poll found 41 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents want Roberts confirmed. Even 38 percent of Democrats say Roberts should be confirmed even if members of the Senate disagree with him on a hot topic such as abortion.

As with a similar poll conducted earlier this week, the public also wants to know more about Roberts’ views on the contentious issue of abortion.

Some 64 percent told pollsters that Roberts should more clearly explain his views on abortion in a Senate hearing, while the rest said he should not. Sixty-one percent also want senators to ask Roberts about how he would have ruled on past issues before the Supreme Court.

An Associated Press poll released on Wednesday found 52 percent wanted Roberts to disclose his position on abortion during hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee and 41 percent said he should not.

Women were more likely to be interested in his abortion position with a 60-40 percent split favoring senators asking him about it. Just 43 percent of men say he should be questioned about abortion.

The AP poll found that, at that time, the public favored Roberts’ nomination by a 47 to 24 percent margin.

As Principal Deputy Solicitor General during the first Bush administration, Roberts played an active role in efforts to limit abortion.

Roberts argued in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court that "[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled. [T]he Court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion … finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

Some Senate Democrats have said they want to ask Roberts whether that remark reflects his own views on abortion or whether he was simply writing to represent the views of the president.

The Washington Post poll was conducted Thursday night among 500 adults and has a 4 percent margin of error.

The AP poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday by international polling firm Ipsos of 752 adults and has a 3.5 percent margin of error.