Poll Shows Majority of Americans Back Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court
by Steven Ertelt
June 2, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Although other surveys have gauged the response from Americans to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the first major poll directly on her confirmation finds a majority supportive. A new Gallup poll finds just over half of Americans back her nomination to the high court.
Gallup indicated 54 percent support the Sotomayor nomination while 28 percent are opposed to confirming her and 19 percent have no opinion yet.
The high percentage of undecided Americans is not surprised given that Sotomayor has draw mostly questions from both sides of the abortion debate.
Although she has handed down minor opinions that support the pro-life view, none of those pertained to abortion policy and both sides appear to believe she will likely side with Roe v. Wade and its provision for unlimited abortions but have little supporting evidence.
As a result, there has yet to be a national campaign from either side to ask the public to blandish members of the Senate to support or oppose her confirmation.
Gallup noted that the Sotomayor numbers are similar to the level of support Gallup initially found for previous Supreme Court nominees who were confirmed by the Senate, including justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito. Chief Justice John Roberts enjoyed a slightly higher level of support.
"Initial public support has been a good barometer of the public’s eventual judgment of the nominees," Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones reported. "The percentage favoring a nominee’s confirmation generally has not varied much in either direction from the time of nomination to the time of confirmation."
The poll found that support for Sotomayor was split along partisan lines.
A majority of Republicans surveyed, 57%, opposed her nomination. A slim majority of independents and a solid majority of Democrats favored it.
The poll also found 60 percent of Americans say they are following the news on Sotomayor’s nomination.
Just 28% of respondents believed she would be "too liberal" as a Supreme Court justice, while 48% viewed her as "about right," and 49% said they believed that Sotomayor’s views are "in the mainstream."
Gallup noted the confirmation votes of judges normally closely tracked with the first impression the public had about a judge, with polls showing less support for Robert Bork, who was not confirmed, and Harriet Miers, who withdrew her nomination.
"All those who were favored by a majority were confirmed, regardless of the specifics of their confirmation processes," Gallup noted.
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