New Poll: Americans Split on Sonia Sotomayor Nomination for Supreme Court

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 28, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Poll: Americans Split on Sonia Sotomayor Nomination for Supreme Court

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 28
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor on a 13-6 vote, a new Zogby poll shows Americans are evenly split. Less than half of Americans support her nomination, with 49 percent saying they support her and an equal number opposed.

Hispanic voters are roughly split on Sotomayor, 47% in favor and 43% against, while independent voters oppose her confirmation on a 55 to 45 percent margin.

Zogby conducted the poll July 21-24 and surveyed 4,470 voters.

Meanwhile, Gallup released the analysis of its newest poll on Sotomayor yesterday that found "she now garners more opposition than any Supreme Court nominee of the past two decades, except for the unsuccessful Harriet Miers.”

In contrast, “[s]upport for [Samuel] Alito’s confirmation grew after widely televised confirmation hearings,” Gallup said, with 54% of Americans expressing support and only 30% opposing.

The polling results show that Sotomayor, who was expected by some to be a shoo-in because of her life story and background, is sparking opposition because of concerns she will be a judicial activist.

Wendy Long, of the Judicial Confirmation Network, told the polling results bear out what her group has said about Sotomayor from the start.

"President Obama promised he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would decide the ‘hard’ cases by relying on personal feelings and politics," she said. "He fulfilled that promise by nominating Judge Sotomayor, whose record of speeches, law review articles, and judicial decisions, demonstrate that she and President Obama are on the same page when it comes to judicial activism."

"Poll after poll has shown that the American people reject that lawless view of the judiciary, and that they embrace the rule of law and the view that judges should be more like neutral umpires, saying what the law is and not what they think it should be," she said.

Long said the fact that Senators Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley voted against the approval of a Supreme Court nominee for the first time in their long Senate careers is testimony to how much Americans oppose Sotomayor.

She said 18 senators have announced that they would vote against Sotomayor — more than any nominee from a Democratic president since 1916.

Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America, echoed Long’s sentiments.

"The Sonia Sotomayor we saw in the nomination hearings was a stark contrast to the Sonia Sotomayor of the previous 55 years," she said. "Her chameleon-like performance at her hearings cannot erase a lifetime record of a judicial philosophy that allows for the re-interpretation of the Constitution according to her ‘wise’ and ‘superior’ personal opinion."

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