Poll Shows Americans Wary About President Obama Appointing Activist Judges
by Steven Ertelt
February 2, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — For the pro-life movement, one of the biggest ramifications of the 2008 presidential election is a pro-abortion president who will appoint Supreme Court judges who will keep virtually unlimited abortions in place for decades longer. Now, a new poll suggests Americans are wary of such activist judges.
Americans have long been concerned about judges making up the law from the bench, as the high court did in 1973 when it allowed abortion on demand via the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions.
Anyone who is curious about the attitude Americans have about President Barack Obama and his potential ability to choose one or more high court judges need only to review a new Rasmussen survey.
The result of the national telephone poll shows nearly two-thirds of voters, 64 percent, say U.S. Supreme Court decisions should be based on what is written in the Constitution.
Rasmussen found that view regardless of party affiliation, with 79% of Republicans, 64% of unaffiliated voters and 52% of Democrats taking that view.
But only 35 percent of those surveyed believe Obama shares that view.
In fact, during the presidential campaign, Obama advanced a judicial activist philosophy and said judges should decide cases based on their own "deepest values," "core concerns," and "the depth and breadth of [their] empathy."
For Obama, "the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart" — not what is in the text, principles, and history of our Constitution and other laws.
The Rasmussen findings match up well with the results of a November 2008 poll from the Polling Company, which found that, regardless of which presidential candidate they supported, voters favor judicial restraint by more than three to one.
Some 70 percent of voters said they prefer a president to nominate judges who "will interpret and apply the law as it is written and not take into account their own viewpoints and experiences." Only 22 percent shared Obama’s view on activist judges.
Wendy Long, the chief counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, told LifeNews.com that it is up to members of the Senate to make sure judicial activists don’t get confirmed to the Supreme Court.
"President Obama’s unprecedented call for judicial activism must be met with an unprecedented level of Senate scrutiny," she said.
"For every nominee, there should be a presumption that he would — as President Obama has told us he prefers — decide cases based on his personal views," she said. "It should be up to each individual nominee to rebut the presumption and to prove that he would rule on the basis of what the law actually provides, as two-thirds of Americans believe judges should."
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