AEI Public Opinion S Studies

PUBLIC OPINION ON THE SUPREME COURT
(Updated June 2012) Compiled by Karlyn H. Bowman, Senior Fellow and Andrew Rugg, Research Assistant

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Table of Contents
TRENDS IN CONFIDENCE IN THE COURT .................................................................................. 4 APPROVAL ........................................................................................................................................... 9 FAVORABILITY ................................................................................................................................. 12 THE COURT’S POWER AND BALANCE TODAY ......................................................................... 13 THE IDEOLOGY OF THE NEXT JUSTICE, NEW COURT.......................................................... 17 What Americans Wanted of Obama’s Nominees......................................................................... 17 What Americans Wanted of George W. Bush’s Nominees ......................................................... 18 THE PRESIDENT’S DECISION OR THE SENATE’S?................................................................. 21 THE NEXT NOMINEE: LEGAL BACKGROUND AND OTHER ISSUES ................................... 24 Views and Qualifications of the Nominee ................................................................................... 24 Roberts’s views on Abortion ........................................................................................................ 27 Bush’s Nominees and Abortion ................................................................................................... 28 ELENA KAGAN .................................................................................................................................. 29 Kagan and the Issue of Abortion .................................................................................................. 32 Kagan’s Ideological Leanings ...................................................................................................... 32 SONIA SOTOMAYOR ........................................................................................................................ 33 Ideological Leanings .................................................................................................................... 35 JOHN ROBERTS ................................................................................................................................ 37 Should Roberts Be Confirmed ..................................................................................................... 38 Will Roberts Be Confirmed .......................................................................................................... 39 Impressions of Roberts ................................................................................................................. 39 Ideological Leanings .................................................................................................................... 40 Roberts and The Issue of Abortion............................................................................................... 41 Past Cases ..................................................................................................................................... 42 Miscellany .................................................................................................................................... 43 Continued Performance ................................................................................................................ 44 HARRIET MIERS............................................................................................................................... 45 Impressions of Miers .................................................................................................................... 46 2

Miers and the Issue of Abortion ................................................................................................... 47 Will Miers Be Confirmed ............................................................................................................. 47 Ideological Leanings .................................................................................................................... 48 Miers’s Qualifications .................................................................................................................. 48 Miers’s Withdrawal ...................................................................................................................... 49 SAMUEL ALITO................................................................................................................................. 50 Impressions of Alito ..................................................................................................................... 52 Ideological Leanings .................................................................................................................... 53 Alito’s Qualifications ................................................................................................................... 53 Alito and Gender .......................................................................................................................... 54 Alito and the Issue of Abortion .................................................................................................... 54 ORIGINAL INTENT........................................................................................................................... 55 WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT INDIVIDUAL JUSTICES ................................................................... 57 William Rehnquist ............................................................................................................................ 57 Clarence Thomas .............................................................................................................................. 59 Antonin Scalia .................................................................................................................................. 60 David Souter ..................................................................................................................................... 60 John Roberts ................................................................................................................................. 61 Miscellany ........................................................................................................................................ 61 GENDER, RACE, AND ETHNICITY AND COURT NOMINEES ................................................ 62 LEGAL ANALYSIS OR PERSONAL VIEWS: WHAT RULES/GUIDES THE JUSTICES.......... 67 2010 Health Care Law ...................................................................................................................... 69 2000 Florida Recount ....................................................................................................................... 71 TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT ..................... 73 Life Tenure, Mandatory Retirement ............................................................................................. 74 Television Coverage ..................................................................................................................... 75

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The Supreme Court: Pollsters have been polling on issues related to the Supreme Court for
more than 70 years. In 1937, both Gallup and Roper asked questions about President Franklin Roosevelt’s intentions to enlarge the court. In 1939, Gallup asked a single question about the appointment of Felix Frankfurter to the Court. Louis Harris asked a dozen questions about the elevation of Abe Fortas to the Chief Justice position in 1968 and about the nominations of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harold Carswell in 1971. The mid-1980s, with more pollsters in the field, appears to represent a turning point in the pollsters’ activity. Around 200 questions were asked in 1986 and 1987 about the nominations of Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg. Not only were there more questions than in the past, but many of them also had a provocative tone not present in earlier questions. The business didn’t always distinguish itself. Take this question asked by a major pollster about Douglas Ginsburg’s wife: “As you may know, (Supreme Court nominee Douglas) Ginsburg's wife, a medical doctor, performed a few legal abortions early in her career. Do you think the fact that Ginsburg’s wife performed a few legal abortions is enough of a reason by itself to keep him off the Supreme Court or not?” Only a few years later, in 1991, more than 400 questions were asked about Clarence Thomas’s nomination. Many had the flavor of push polls. This AEI Public Opinion Study tries to look broadly at confidence in the court, views of the court today, knowledge of current Justices, and at the kind of nominee people say they would like to see. Separate sections look at views of Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Jr., Harriet Miers, and Samuel Alito. It also reviews areas where public opinion is not well formed. Questions about original intent, for example, seem to pull people in one direction or another depending on how they are worded. This document includes some questions on abortion. Another AEI Public Opinion Study examines that issue in more detail: http://www.aei.org/publicopinion15.

TRENDS IN CONFIDENCE IN THE COURT: Three survey organizations have long trends on confidence in the Supreme Court. In Gallup’s 2011 question, high confidence in the court was roughly what it was in 2009 and 2010. Around two in ten have very little or no confidence in the court. Harris’s question asks about those in charge of running the Supreme Court. It showed a dip in evaluations between 2010 and 2011. Around 20 percent in Harris’s question have hardly any confidence in the past couple of years.
• Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one – a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? First, the U.S. Supreme Court? Great deal/ quite a lot 44% 49 46 39 45 Very little/ none (Vol.) 17% 17 18 21 20

1973 1975 1977 1978 1979

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

Some 28% 28 29 32 31

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1980 Gallup 1981 Gallup 1983 Gallup 1985 Gallup 1986 Gallup 1987 Gallup 1988 Gallup 1989 Gallup 1990 Gallup 1991 Gallup 1993 Gallup 1994 Gallup 1995 Gallup 1996 Gallup 1997 Gallup 1998 Gallup 1999 Gallup 2000 (Jun.) Gallup 2000 (Dec.15-17)* Gallup 2001 (Jun.) Gallup 2002 Gallup 2003 Gallup 2004 Gallup 2005+ Gallup 2006 Gallup 2007 Gallup 2008 Gallup 2009 Gallup 2010 Gallup 2011 Gallup

47 47 42 56 54 52 56 46 47 39 43 42 44 45 50 50 49 47 49 50 50 47 46 41 40 34 32 39 36 37

30 31 34 30 33 36 30 54 31 39 37 38 39 39 32 34 35 35 31 31 35 38 37 38 41 41 44 41 43 41

17 14 17 10 10 8 12 -18 17 17 17 15 15 16 13 13 14 19 13 13 13 16 19 16 23 17 18 20 20

NOTE: *The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000. +In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ranked sixth out of sixteen institutions in terms of “a great deal/quite a lot” of confidence. The U.S. Supreme Court ranked below the military (78 percent), small business (64 percent), the police (56 percent), the church or organized religion (48 percent), and the medical system (39 percent). It ranked ahead of the presidency (35 percent) public schools (34 percent), the criminal justice system (28 percent), newspapers (28 percent), television news (27 percent), banks (23 percent), organized labor (21 percent), health maintenance organizations (19 percent), big business (19 percent), and Congress (12 percent). (Demographic breakdowns) -------Subgroups answering great deal/quite a lot------Republicans Democrats Independents 48% 44% 44% 53 52 45 43 48 46 47 46 49 51 46 42 57 44 55 58 55 54 57 52 56 58 49 52 54 41 44 50 44 53 46 36 37 44 47 41 45 45 38

1973 (May) 1975 (May) 1977 (Jan.) 1979 (Apr.) 1981 (Nov.) 1984 (Oct.) 1985 (May) 1986 (Oct.) 1987 (Jul.) 1989 (Sep.) 1991 (Feb.) 1991 (Oct.) 1993 (Mar.) 1994 (Mar.)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

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1996 (May) 1997 (Jul.) 1998 (Jun.) 1999 (Jun.) 2000 (Jun.) 2001 (Jun.) 2002 (Jun.) 2003 (Jun.) 2004 (Mar.) 2005 (May) 2006 (Jun.) 2007 (Jun.) 2008 (Jun.) 2009 (Jun.) 2010 (Jul.) 2011 (Jun.) •

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

43 51 52 47 48 68 53 56 53 47 52 45 44 35 26 38

46 52 48 58 44 46 46 42 47 42 31 29 25 44 48 44

46 48 51 45 48 42 50 44 41 36 37 30 28 36 35 32

As far as people in charge of running the U.S. Supreme Court are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them? Great Deal 31% 40 23 29 33 35 28 32 29 27 29 27 29 26 32 38 30 35 33 33 30 35 24 30 28 34 34 33 31 40 42 34 35 41 34 29 Only Some 29% 29 41 42 40 44 42 43 48 47 52 53 54 54 55 51 55 53 53 56 55 51 54 54 58 51 51 52 53 47 45 51 45 45 48 49 Hardly Any 12% 21 27 21 20 17 21 21 18 19 16 18 15 17 12 10 14 10 11 10 14 13 20 15 14 14 14 15 14 12 11 13 16 11 13 18

1966 1967 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 (Jan.) 2001 2002 2002 2004

Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive

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2004 2005* 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

ABC/Wash Post Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive Harris Interactive

29 29 33 27 25 30 31 24

57 57 50 54 55 50 46 53

13 13 16 17 16 19 21 19

NOTE: *In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ranked fifth out of sixteen institutions in terms of “a great deal” of confidence. Those in charge of running the U.S. Supreme Court ranked below the military (57 percent), those in charge of running small businesses (50 percent), medicine (33 percent), and major educational institutions such as colleges and universities (30 percent). It ranked ahead of organized religion (24 percent), public schools (20 percent). The White House (19 percent), the court and justice system (19 percent), television news (16 percent), organized labor (15 percent), major companies (13 percent), the press (11 percent), law firms (11 percent), Wall Street (7 percent), and Congress (6 percent). • I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them...U.S. Supreme Court? Great deal 32% 34 32 36 37 31 26 31 28 36 31 39 37 36 36 39 31 32 30 32 34 37 32 34 32 31 Only some 52% 50 49 48 52 55 53 56 58 51 54 50 53 53 51 48 55 52 52 53 52 51 53 51 54 52 Hardly any 16% 16 19 16 11 15 21 13 14 12 14 11 11 10 13 13 14 16 18 15 13 11 15 15 14 17

1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1993 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010

NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC

(Demographic breakdowns) --------Republicans-------Great Only Hardly deal some any 35% 50% 15% 38 44 17 36 45 20 41 48 12 36 51 12 ---------Democrats--------Great Only Hardly deal some any 32% 52% 16% 35 53 13 31 50 19 37 45 18 40 49 11 -------Independents-----Great Only Hardly deal some any 30% 53% 18% 27 52 20 30 43 27 35 44 21 31 56 13

1973 1974 1975 1976 1977

NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC

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1978 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1993 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 •

NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC NORC

34 24 36 30 42 34 42 43 41 42 46 34 33 33 34 32 43 36 44 34 27

53 55 52 54 48 52 51 50 54 49 43 55 51 52 51 54 49 53 47 56 55

12 22 13 16 10 14 7 7 6 9 11 11 16 15 15 14 8 11 9 10 18

30 30 30 28 35 30 34 34 33 33 35 28 34 31 33 37 36 27 28 30 33

57 52 58 56 53 56 55 54 53 51 52 55 50 52 54 52 50 57 53 55 52

13 18 12 16 12 14 12 12 14 16 13 17 16 17 13 11 14 16 19 15 15

23 24 25 18 23 27 25 34 31 27 34 31 23 22 30 31 28 37 29 29 31

56 52 56 67 64 58 58 52 54 53 48 50 55 53 50 52 59 41 53 54 47

22 24 19 15 13 15 17 14 15 20 18 20 21 25 21 18 13 22 19 18 21

I’m going to read you the names of some institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself have in each one: a great deal, quite a lot, some, very little, or none at all? The U.S. Supreme Court. Great deal 27% 15 16 14 Quite a lot 25% 21 23 19 Some 34% 39 36 45 Very little 8% 17 13 14 None at all 5% 7 8 6

Dec. 7-10, 2000^ Jul. 2007 Jan. 2009 May 2012*

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ

NOTE:* Asked of one half of the sample. ^The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000. • Would you say you are extremely confident, very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all in the people who are running the U.S. Supreme Court. Extremely confident 3% 7 Very confident 13% 17 Somewhat confident 58% 54 Not too confident 14% 10 Not at all confident 11% 10

Aug. 2010 Aug. 2011 •

AP/Roper AP/Roper

How much confidence do you yourself have in the United States Supreme Court - a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? Great deal 21% 29 24 16 20 14 22 Quite a lot 26% 28 22 22 21 22 27 Some 35% 29 33 41 39 40 37 Very Little 14% 10 18 16 17 20 13

1981 CBS/NYT 2000 (Nov. 27-28)* CBS/NYT 2000 (Dec.14-16)* CBS/NYT 2001 CBS/NYT 2004 CBS/NYT 2005 CBS/NYT 2006 CBS/NYT

NOTE: *The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000.

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I’m going to read you the names of some institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself have in each one: a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little...The U.S. Supreme Court? Great deal 13% 20 31 10 13 Quite a lot 26% 25 25 13 18 Some 41% 37 28 47 40 Very little 16% 15 12 26 24

1995 2000 (Jun.) 2000 (Dec. 14-15)* 2012 (Feb.) 2012 (Apr.)

Wash Post/Kaiser/Harvard NPR/Kaiser/Harvard ABC/Wash Post Kaiser Kaiser

NOTE: *The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000. Question wording varies slightly. • I’m going to read you the names of some institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself have in each one: a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little...The U.S. Supreme Court? Great deal 15% 17 17 27 Quite a lot 27% 26 28 28 Some 38% 36 36 29 Very little 18% 17 16 12

1997 1999 2000 (Aug.)* 2001 (Nov.)

Hart/Council for Excellence in Govt. Hart/Council for Excellence in Govt. Hart/Council for Excellence in Govt. Hart/Council for Excellence in Govt.

NOTE: *The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000.

APPROVAL: For decades, Americans have been asked regularly whether they approve or disapprove of the way the president is handling his job. Job approval questions about the court were much later in coming, and they are asked less frequently. A May-June 2012 CBS/New York Times survey found that 44 percent of Americans approved of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job, while 36 percent disapproved. Approval among partisans has varied substantially since Bush v. Gore.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job? Approve 62% 59 62 58 60 59 52 51 48 56 60 51 48 50 59 61 Disapprove 29% 34 25 28 29 33 38 39 42 36 32 36 38 39 30 28

2000 (Aug.-Sep.) Gallup 2001 (Jan.) Gallup 2001 (Jun.) Gallup 2001 (Sep.) Gallup 2002 (Sep.) Gallup 2003 (Jul.) Gallup 2003 (Sep.) Gallup 2004 (Sep.) Gallup 2005 (Jun.) Gallup 2005 (Sep.) Gallup 2006 (Sep.) Gallup 2007 (May) Gallup 2008 (Jun.) Gallup 2008 (Sep.) Gallup 2009 (Jun.) Gallup 2009 (Aug.-Sep.) Gallup

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2010 (Sep) 2011 (Jun.)* 2011 (Sep.) 2012 (Apr.) 2012 (May-Jun.)

Gallup Time/Abt SRBI Gallup CNN/ORC CBS/NYT

51 47 46 50 44

39 34 40 41 36

(Demographic Breakdowns) Republicans Approve Disapprove Gallup 60% 35% Gallup 80 15 Gallup 74 18 Gallup 69 19 Gallup 66 23 Gallup 57 35 Gallup 55 40 Gallup 57 36 Gallup 75 -Gallup 69 -Gallup 65 -Gallup 49 -Gallup 49 -Gallup 42 -Gallup 50 -Time/Abt SRBI 48 34 CNN/ORC 52 42 CBS/NYT 42 35 Democrats Approve Disapprove 70% 18% 42 50 54 32 55 32 57 33 59 33 45 43 44 47 48 -re41 -38 -70 -75 -61 -46 -44 36 50 39 51 32 Independents Approve Disapprove 57% 34% 54 38 59 26 52 31 58 30 61 31 57 32 52 35 60 -47 -47 -57 -59 -50 -44 -49 34 48 42 39 39

Aug.-Sep. 2000 Jan. 2001 Jun. 2001 Sep. 2001 Sep. 2002 Jul. 2003 Sep. 2003 Sep. 2004 Sep. 2006 May 2007 Jun. 2008 Jun. 2009 Aug.-Sep. 2009 Sep. 2010 Sep. 2011 Jun. 2011 Apr. 2012 May-Jun. 2012

NOTE: *Question wording was “In general, do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job?” • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job? Approve 56% 56 50 44 50 50 58 45 39 50 62 62 49 52 Disapprove 28% 27 33 39 39 32 27 37 43 39 22 22 33 31

Mar. 2003 Mar. 2003* Dec. 2004* May 2005* Jul. 2005* Nov.-Dec. 2005* May 2007 Aug. 2007 Jul. 2008 Sep. 2008 May 2009* Jun. 2009 Apr. 2010 Apr. 2012

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns, party ID) Republicans Approve Disapprove 56% 31% 55 35 57 28 70 18 65 21 Democrats Approve Disapprove 39% 43% 48 38 39 39 50 37 35 47 Independent Approve Disapprove 41% 41% 50 41 57 29 55 26 40 41

2005 (May)* 2005 (Jul.)* 2005 (Dec.) 2007 (May) 2007 (Aug.)

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

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2008 (Jul.) 2009 (May)* 2009 (Jun.) 2010 (Apr.) 2012 (Apr.)

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

46 58 60 44 62

35 28 25 36 23

34 66 66 56 44

49 18 20 27 38

41 61 61 49 51

41 23 22 34 31

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. (Demographic breakdowns, gender) Men Approve Disapprove 46% 40% 52 41 54 32 63 28 48 39 64 22 47 34 56 30 Women Approve Disapprove 43% 37% 48 37 47 33 54 27 43 36 60 22 50 32 47 32

2005 (May)* 2005 (Jul.)* 2005 (Dec.) 2007 (May) 2007 (Aug.) 2009 (Jun.) 2010 (Apr.) 2012 (Apr.)

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Do you approve or disapprove of the job the United States Supreme Court is doing? Approve 50% 48 Disapprove 30% 33

Jan. 2006 * Apr. 2012*

Fox News Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns, April 2012) Democrats Republicans Independents Men Women Under 35 35-54 55+ 65+ NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court of the United States has been doing its job? Approve 66% 65 59 63 Disapprove 25% 28 30 31 43% 52 52 54% 42 53% 49 44 41 41% 30 26 30% 37 28% 34 37 36

1986 1987 1991 1995

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

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FAVORABILITY: In Pew’s April 2012 poll, 52 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court and 30 percent an unfavorable opinion, a large change from 2008 when 65 percent had a favorable opinion and 25 percent an unfavorable one. In January 2001, after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore, 68 percent had a favorable opinion. Pew has asked this question 23 times since 1987, when overall favorability was higher than it is today (76 to 52 percent).
• Would you say your overall opinion of the United States Supreme Court is very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable? ---------------Overall opinion of Supreme Court----------------------Very Mostly Mostly Very favorable favorable unfavorable unfavorable 13% 63% 15% 2% 14 65 11 2 10 55 18 7 18 54 16 5 17 56 14 4 18 62 13 3 16 56 17 5 13 64 12 6 18 50 13 8 15 57 15 7 15 55 14 6 8 49 22 8 12 49 18 10 12 50 17 10 16 44 18 10 7 56 19 8 18 54 14 3 12 45 20 9 15 50 18 7 8 56 15 6 8 50 19 8 9 49 17 8 11 41 20 10

1987 (May) 1988 (Jan.) 1990 (May) 1991 (Nov.) 1993 (May) 1994 (Jul.) 1997 (May) 1997 (Oct.) 2001 (Jan.) 2001 (Mar.) 2001 (Jul.) 2005 (Jun.) 2005 (Jul.) 2005 (Oct.) 2006 (Feb.) 2006 (Jul.) 2007 (Mar.) 2007 (Jul.) 2008 (Apr.) 2009 (Mar.) 2010 (Feb.) 2010 (Jul.) 2012 (Apr.) •

Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew

Generally speaking, what is your impression of the United States Supreme Court? As of today, is it very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or haven’t you heard enough about it to say? ---------------------Impression of Supreme Court today------------------Very Somewhat Somewhat Very favorable favorable unfavorable unfavorable 7% 33% 23% 11% 10 43 18 5 10 34 16 6 22 28 17 14

1989 1991 1991 2000 (Dec. 14-16)*

LA Times LA Times LA Times LA Times

NOTE: *The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Bush vs. Gore was announced on December 12, 2000.

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What is your overall impression of the United States Supreme Court... very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, very unfavorable or not familiar? ---------------------Impression of the Supreme Court------------------Very Somewhat Somewhat Very favorable favorable unfavorable unfavorable 13% 53% 16% 7%

Jul. 2001 •

Zogby

Now I’m going to read you a list of institutions in the country. For each, please tell me if you are extremely confident, very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all in the people who are running each institution. The Supreme Court. Extremely confident 3% 7 Very confident 13% 17 Somewhat confident 58% 54 Not too confident 14% 10 Not at all confident 11% 10

Aug. 2010 Aug. 2011

AP-GfK/Roper AP-GfK/Roper

THE COURT’S POWER AND BALANCE TODAY: When Americans are asked about the Supreme Court today, most say that it is “about right” or “balanced,” or that it has “the right amount” of power. An April 2012 Fox News poll found that a strong plurality, 45 percent, said the court tends to be generally balanced in its decisions. Twenty-one percent said it was too conservative, and 26 percent too liberal.
• Do you think the present U.S. Supreme Court has been too liberal, about right, or not liberal enough in its decisions in the last year, or so? ------------Supreme court has been------------Too About Not liberal liberal right enough Feb. 1941 Gallup 18% 46% 3% In general, how would you describe the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court...too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? ---------Current makeup of the Court is-------Too Just Too Liberal about right Conservative Sep. 1987 NBC/WSJ 19% 47% 19% In general, do you think the current Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? (Gallup) Do you think the United States Supreme Court is generally too liberal, too conservative, or about right in its decisions? (Fox News) Do you think the Supreme Court is too liberal, too conservative, or about right? (Quinnipiac)

• • •

Jul. 1973^ Jun. 1993* Jun. 1993# Jul. 1995 Sep. 2004 Sep. 2005

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

-----------------Supreme Court is-----------------Too Too liberal About right conservative 35% 17% 25% 18 20 17 22 45 24 31 41 20 28 40 27 25 45 25

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Sep. 2006 Sep. 2007 Sep. 2008 Aug.-Sep 2009 Jul.-Aug. 2010 Sep. 2011 Feb. 2012

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Kaiser

21 21 21 28 32 31 26 Too liberal 30% 28 27 26 Too liberal 19% 20 25 29

43 43 43 50 43 42 38 About right 37% 42 46 45 About right 46% 37 33 40

31 32 30 19 19 20 26 Too Conservative 20% 17 16 21 Too conservative 26% 29 31 19

Jun.-Jul. 2003** Jan. 2006** Apr. 2010** Apr. 2012**

Fox News Fox News Fox News Fox News

Mar. 2003 Aug. 2007 Jul. 2008 Apr. 2010^^

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

NOTE: ^ Question wording was “In general, do you think the U.S. Supreme Court is too liberal or too conservative in its decisions?” # Asked of half-sample. *Question wording was “...just about right, or are you unsure?” 45 percent answered either no opinion or unsure. Question asked of a half sample. **Question asked of registered voters. ^^ NOTE: When broken down by party, the responses for Republicans were 53 (liberal), 7 (conservative), and 31 (about right) percent, respectively. For Democrats, the responses were 8 (liberal), 32 (conservative), 46 (about right). For Independents, the responses were 30 (liberal), 19 (conservative), 41 (about right) respectively. • Do you think the Supreme Court currently tends to be too conservative or too liberal in its decisions or is it generally balanced in its decisions? ----------------Court tends to be------------Too Generally Too conservative balanced liberal Jun. 1986 ABC/Wash Post 19% 54% 18% Sep. 1987 ABC/Wash Post 19 52 24 Jun. 1989 Wash Post 26 36 21 Jul. 1991 ABC/Wash Post 33 39 21 Sep. 1991 ABC 31 48 16 Jul. 1995 ABC/Wash Post 22 54 22 Jul. 2005 ABC/Wash Post 19 55 22 Jul. 2007 ABC/Wash Post 31 47 18 Apr. 2010 ABC/Wash Post 21 46 26 In general, do you think the United States Supreme Court is too liberal or too conservative in its decisions? -----------Supreme court is---------Too liberal Too conservative 34% 38% 36 38 30 42

Jun. 1986 Jul. 1987 Sep. 1991 •

CBS/NYT CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

Do you think that the Supreme Court in its recent rulings has been too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? ----------Recent rulings have been--------Too Just Too Liberal about right Conservative 14% 42% 22% 20 39 25

Jul. 1986 Jul. 1991*

Gallup Gallup

14

Aug. 2000* Jul. 2003*

Gallup Gallup

27 31

49 48

16 15

NOTE: *Question wording read, “In its recent rulings, do you think the Supreme Court has been too liberal, too conservative, or just about right?” • In its recent rulings, do you think the Supreme Court has been too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? -----------------------------Supreme Court has been--------------------------Too Liberal Too Conservative About Right Don’t Know 14% 22% 42% 22% 19 29 35 17

Jul. 1986 Jul. 2007 •

PSRA/Newsweek PSRA/Newsweek

In recent years, do you think the Supreme Court has become more conservative or more liberal in its decisions? ----In recent years, Court has become---More More Conservative Liberal 44% 36% 52 32 49 39

Jun. 1989 Jul. 1991* Jul. 1995*

Wash Post ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

NOTE: *Question wording was, “In the last few years, do you think the Supreme Court has been getting more conservative in its decisions, more liberal or what?” • In general, do you think the United States Supreme Court is too liberal or too conservative in its decisions? ------Current Makeup of the Court is-----Too Liberal Too Conservative 33% 44% 26 50 33 35

Jul. 1991 May 1992 Apr. 2012 •

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ

In general, do you think the United States Supreme Court is in touch with what is going on in the country, or not? -------------------Supreme Court is---------------In touch with what is going on in the country Not in touch 51% 38%

Jun. 2003 *

Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • As you probably know, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. During her time on the Court, she has been known as a moderate justice or the “swing vote” on many decisions. In naming Justice O’Connor’s replacement, what type of judge should President Bush nominate to fill her seat? Do you think the Supreme Court currently tends to be too conservative or too liberal in its decisions or is it generally balanced in its decisions? -----------------Court tends to be------------Too Generally Too conservative balanced liberal 23% 43% 15%

Jul. 2005

Harris Interactive

15

Now thinking about the U.S. Supreme Court, in its recent rulings, do you think the Supreme Court has been too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? -----------Recent rulings have been------------Too Just Too Liberal about Right Conservative Jul. 2005 Westhill/Hotline 27% 38% 21% In your view, do you think the current Supreme Court is conservative, middle of the road, or liberal? ------------------Supreme Court is-----------------Conservative Middle of the road Liberal 36% 35% 14% 24 36 24 23 39 23

Jul. 2007 Apr. 2010 Jul. 2010 •

Pew Pew Pew

Do you think the United States Supreme Court is moving in the right direction? Right direction 39% 33 35 Wrong direction 37% 42 37 Don’t know 25% 25 28

Aug. 2007* Jul. 2008* Apr. 2010

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

NOTE: Twenty-eight percent of Republicans said the Supreme Court was moving in the right direction; 47 percent of Democrats said right direction; 32 percent of independents said right direction. *Question wording read “. . . is moving in the right direction or wrong direction.” • Just your impression . . . over the past two decades, do you think the Supreme Court has become more conservative, become more liberal or has it stayed about the same? Become more conservative 19% Become more liberal 28% Has stayed about the same 43%

Apr. 2010 •

Pew

Would you say that Supreme Court decisions over the past few years have been too conservative, too liberal, or just about right? --Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has been-Too liberal About right Too conservative Jun. 2011 Time/Abt SRBI 30% 36% 24% Do you think the Supreme Court is too powerful, not powerful enough, or does it have about the right amount of power? -----------------Supreme Court is------------------Too Right Not powerful powerful amount enough 25% 60% 11% 23 62 10

Apr. 2003* Nov. 2004

Quinnipiac AP/Ipsos

(Demographic Breakdowns, Apr. 2003) Republicans Democrats Independents

21% 30 22

71% 51 62

6% 13 12

16

THE IDEOLOGY OF THE NEXT JUSTICE, NEW COURT: In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation question asked in April 2010, 37 percent said President Obama should nominate a conservative to the court, while 36 percent wanted him to nominate a moderate and 25 percent a liberal. Sixty-one percent, however, in another question said they expected him to nominate a liberal. In questions asked before Judge Roberts’s nomination, most Americans told the pollsters they want Bush to nominate a moderate to the court. In a June 2005 ABC News/Washington Post question, for example, 41 percent said that Bush should pick someone who is more of a moderate, 21 percent more of a liberal, and 35 percent more of a conservative. A September 2005 question from Pew with a slightly different emphasis showed that 39 percent wanted Bush to choose someone who would keep the court about the same as it is now. Twenty-four percent wanted the court to be more liberal and 30 percent more conservative. In a June 2005 Gallup question, 30 percent wanted a justice who would make the court more liberal than it is now, 41 percent more conservative, and 35 percent about the same. In Gallup’s subgroup analysis, liberals and conservatives were mirror images on one another on this question. A July 2005 Hotline/Westhill Partners poll found that 42 percent wanted Bush to replace O’Connor with someone who would keep the court about where it is now, while 30 percent wanted a more conservative justice, and 20 percent more liberal.

What Americans Wanted of Obama’s Nominees
• When it comes to appointing liberal justices to the Supreme Court, are you concerned that Barack Obama will go too far, or not? Concerned Not concerned Jan. 2009 NBC/WSJ 38% 57% Next, as you may know, President Obama will announce later this year a nominee to the Supreme Court. Do you think Obama should nominate somebody who is very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? ----------------------Obama should nominate somebody who is---------------------Somewhat Somewhat Very Very liberal liberal Moderate conservative conservative 9% 18% 37% 19% 16% 8 17 37 19 17

May 2009 Apr. 2010 •

CNN/ORC CNN/ORC

And just your best guess – do you think Obama will nominate somebody who is very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, somewhat conservative, or very conservative? ------------------------Obama will nominate somebody who is-----------------------Somewhat Somewhat Very Very liberal liberal Moderate conservative conservative 33% 28% 21% 9% 7%

Apr. 2010

CNN/ORC

17

Do you think President Obama’s nominee to the US Supreme Court will be more liberal than you would like, not liberal enough, or about right? -----------------Obama’s nomine will be--------------More liberal than you like Not liberal enough About right 42% 8% 42%

Apr. 2010 •

Quinnipiac

As you may know, Justice John Paul Stevens is retiring from the Supreme Court. How confident are you that President Obama will make the right decision about who should replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme court? -------Confident that Obama will make right decision to replace Stevens---Very confident 27% Somewhat confident 26% Not too confident 18% Not at all confident 28%

Apr. 2010 •

Quinnipiac

When President Obama nominates the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, do you want him to nominate someone who is more of a liberal or someone who is more of a conservative? ----Want Obama to nominate--A liberal A conservative 29% 52%

Apr. 2010

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Would you like to see President Obama nominate a new justice who would make the Supreme Court more liberal than it currently is, more conservative than it currently is, or who would keep the Court as it is now? ------Would like Obama to nominate justice to make SC---More liberal More conservative Keep as it is now 27% 42% 24%

May 2010

Gallup/USA Today

What Americans Wanted of George W. Bush’s Nominees
• I’m going to read you a list of areas in which some people are concerned that George W. Bush will go too far. For each one, please tell me whether this concerns you or not appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court? Concerned 45% Not concerned 50%

Jan. 2001

NBC/WSJ

NOTE: Out of the five issues asked, appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court concerned people the least. The biggest concern was passing school voucher legislation which will affect funding for public schools (54 percent), allowing development and exploration of natural resources in wilderness lands (52 percent), regulating abortion (49 percent), and cutting taxes (46 percent).

18

When it comes time for Bush to nominate a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, do you think he should pick someone who is more of a liberal, moderate or conservative? -------Bush should pick someone who is more of a----Liberal Moderate Conservative 21% 43% 33% 21 41 35

Dec. 2004 Jun. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

In making his next appointment to the Supreme Court, should President Bush choose someone who will make the court more liberal, someone who will make it more conservative, or someone who will keep the court about the same as it is now? -------Bush should choose someone who will make the Court----More More About liberal conservative same 24% 28% 41% 28 29 35 24 27 40 24 30 39

Mar. 2005 Jun. 2005 Jul. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

Pew Pew Pew Pew

In general, do you think federal court judges are too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? Too liberal 29% 34 Too conservative 19% 20 About right 44% 41

May 2005 Oct. 2006 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today CNN/ORC

When President Bush nominates the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, do you want him to nominate someone who is more of a liberal or someone who is more of a conservative? -------------Bush should nominate someone who is more of a------------Liberal Conservative Moderate Not consider ideology (Vol.) (Vol.) 25% 39% 12% 8%

Jul. 2005*

Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. Moderate and not consider ideology are volunteered responses. • Suppose one of the U.S. Supreme Court justices retires at the end of this term. Would you like to see President (George W.) Bush nominate a new justice who would make the Supreme Court – more liberal than it currently is, more conservative than it currently is – or who would keep the Court as it is now? ---Would like to see Bush nominate someone who would make the Supreme Court-----More More Keep as liberal conservative it is now 30% 41% 24%

Jun. 2005

Gallup

(Demographic breakdowns) More liberal 70% 46 37 36 34 32 32 32 31 More conservative 10% 25 30 37 35 44 40 29 41 Keep as it is now 17% 24 27 26 27 21 24 35 23

Liberals Democrats Seldom/never attend church Men, 18 to 49 Independents Weekly/monthly churchgoers Men Moderates Women, 18 to 49

19

All U.S. Adults Women Women, 50 and older Men, 50 and older Weekly churchgoers White, weekly churchgoers Republicans Conservatives •

30 28 26 25 19 17 10 8

41 42 43 46 55 60 64 71

24 25 26 22 22 20 23 18

When the next U.S. Supreme Court justice retires, would you like the person nominated to fill that vacancy on the Supreme Court to have political views that are...very conservative, somewhat conservative, somewhat liberal, or very liberal? ---------Next nominee should have political views that are------Very Somewhat Somewhat Very conservative conservative liberal liberal 20% 36% 28% 9%

Sep. 2004 •

AP/Ipsos

As you may know Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor resigned recently. In making his appointment to replace her, should President Bush choose someone who will make the court more liberal, someone who will make it more conservative, or someone who will keep the court about the same as it is right now/? -------Bush should choose someone who would make the Court----More liberal Keep same as now More conservative 20% 42% 30%

Jul. 2005 •

Westhill/Hotline

President Bush may have the opportunity to make several nominations to the Supreme Court. Would you like to see him make the court more conservative, more liberal, or keep the present balance? ------Bush should nominate someone who would make the Court-------More liberal Keep balance More conservative 29% 39% 27%

May 2005 •

Quinnipiac

As you may know, there is a possibility that one or two justices of the United States Supreme Court may retire during George W. Bush’s term in office. Do you think Bush’s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court will be very conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, somewhat liberal or will his nominee be very liberal? -------------Bush’s nominees will be--------------Somewhat/Very Somewhat/Very conservative Moderate liberal 65% 10% 11%

Jan. 2005 •

LA Times

There is a possibility that one or two justices of the United States Supreme Court may retire during George W. Bush’s term in office. Do you think Bush’s nominees to the US Supreme Court will be conservative, moderate or liberal? ------------Bush’s nominees will be-----------Conservative Moderate Liberal 63% 17% 10%

Mar. 2001

LA Times

20

Do you think George W. Bush’s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court have been more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right? --------------------Bush’s nominees have been--------------More conservative Not conservative than you would like enough About right 33% 15% 44% 30 16 42 25 15 50 24 17 44

Jan. 2005* Oct. 2005 Dec. 2005 Mar. 2007

CBS/NYT CBS CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

NOTE: *Question wording was originally, “As president, George W. Bush may appoint several justices to the United States Supreme Court. Do you think his nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court will be more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right?” • Do you worry that the president’s next Supreme Court appointment will make the court too conservative, not conservative enough, or don’t you worry about this? -------Next President’s appointment will make court------Too Not conservative Don’t conservative enough worry 31% 19% 44%

Jul. 2005 •

Pew

Do you think President Bush is trying to make the Supreme Court too conservative, too liberal, or neither too conservative nor too liberal? Too conservative 42% Too liberal 9% Neither 44%

Nov. 2005

Harris Interactive

THE PRESIDENT’S DECISION OR THE SENATE’S?: Although the questions weren’t asked often, the ones asked before Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor suggest that people were comfortable with Obama selecting the next Court nominee. In a May 2009 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics question, for example, 60 percent said they were comfortable, while 33 percent said they were uncomfortable. At the same time, however, as a general matter, people said they trusted the Senate more than the President to make the right decisions about who should sit on the court. CBS News and the New York Times have asked this question five times between 1987 and 2001 with virtually identical responses. A June 2005 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics question with a different emphasis produced this result: 31 percent said the president should have the strongest voice in selecting justices, and 47 percent said the Senate should. Twentyfour percent volunteered that both should have an equal voice.

How comfortable are you with Barack Obama selecting the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee? Very comfortable 34% 36 Somewhat comfortable 26% 29 Somewhat Very uncomfortable uncomfortable 13% 20% 12 21

May 2009 Apr. 2010

Fox News* ABC/Wash Post

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters.

21

Given President George W. Bush’s appointments in other areas, how comfortable are you with him selecting the next Supreme Court nominee? . . . Very comfortable, somewhat comfortable, not very comfortable, or not at all comfortable? ---------Comfortable with Bush selecting next Supreme Court nominee-------Very Somewhat Not very Not at all comfortable comfortable comfortable comfortable 32% 27% 14% 20% 39 20 10 24 31 23 15 28

Jun. 2003# Nov. 2004*# Jun. 2005*#

Fox News Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question wording read, “How comfortable are you...” #Question asked of registered voters. • How confident are you that George W. Bush will make good choices to replace justices who leave the U.S. (United States) Supreme Court – very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? ----Confident Bush will make good choices to replace justices---Very Somewhat Not too Not at all confident confident confident confident Gallup/CNN/USA Today 36% 25% 14% 24%

Nov. 2004

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample. • How much confidence do you have that President _____will select the right kind of person to sit on the Supreme Court – a great deal, quite a bit, some, very little, or none at all? Great deal Bush Jul. 2005 Obama May 2010 • NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ 21% 27 Quite a bit 20% 17 Very little 23% 14 None at all 14% 23

Some 21% 18

Do you have confidence that George W. Bush will nominate good justices to the Supreme Court, or are you uneasy about who he might choose? Confidence 46% Uneasy 52%

Jul. 2005 •

CBS/NYT

In President George W. Bush’s second term, he may have the opportunity to appoint several new justices to the United States Supreme Court. How comfortable are you that George W. Bush would nominate the right kind of justices to the Supreme Court? . . . Very comfortable, somewhat comfortable, not too comfortable, not at all comfortable? -----Comfortable that Bush will nominate right kind of justice---Very Somewhat Not too Not at all comfortable comfortable comfortable comfortable 37% 22% 12% 29%

Nov. 2004

AP/Ipsos

NOTE: Asked of registered voters. • When you think about how the Bush Administration may deal with...appointing judges to the U.S. (United States) Supreme Court, do you feel mostly hopeful or mostly fearful, or would you say your feelings are mixed? Hopeful 43% Fearful 26% Mixed 29%

Jan. 2005

ABC/Wash Post

22

If George W. Bush is able to nominate justices to the U.S. (United States) Supreme Court in his second term in office, do you think his choices would make the Supreme Court’s rulings better, worse, or would there be no change? Better 33% Worse 25% No Change 40%

Jan. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about who should sit on the United States Supreme Court – George W. Bush or the Senate Democrats? Bush 37% Sen. Democrats 51%

Jun. 2001

CBS/NYT

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample. • Who do you trust to make the right decisions about who should sit on the United States Supreme Court – the President or the U.S. Senate? President 23% 31 25 23 23 U.S. Senate 70% 55 55 67 68

Sep. 1987 Sep. 1991 Oct. 1991 May 2001 Jun. 2001*

CBS/NYT CBS/NYT CBS/NYT CBS CBS/NYT

Note: *Asked of a half sample. • Who do you think should have the strongest voice in selecting Supreme Court justices – the president or the U.S. Senate? President 31% U.S. Senate 37% Both (vol.) 24%

Jul. 2005

Fox News

Note: Asked of registered voters. • As you may know, there are 100 Senators. How many Senators’ votes should it take to move ahead to confirm a Supreme Court nominee? Should a majority of 51 votes be required, or is this something that should require a larger majority of 60 votes? Majority of 51 Votes 31% Larger Majority Of 60 64%

May 2005 •

CBS/NYT

Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about who should sit on the United States Supreme Court – President Obama or the Republicans in the United States Senate? President Obama 46% Republicans in the Senate 43%

Apr. 2010

Quinnipiac

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample.

23

THE NEXT NOMINEE: LEGAL BACKGROUND AND OTHER ISSUES: This section looks at questions about whether the Senate should consider a person’s legal qualifications only or the nominee’s views on issues. Many of the questions ask about abortion. We have looked closely at abortion attitudes over time in another AEI Public Opinion Study. Americans tell the pollsters that they want the new justice to uphold Roe v. Wade. People also seem to want to know the nominee’s position on the issue. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal question asked in July 2005, however, finds that a majority (53 percent) does not believe a nominee should be required to state his or her opinions on critical issues such as abortion. There are clearly contradictions (which probably reflect low levels of knowledge or attentiveness or the way questions are worded) in the data here. People want the nominee to uphold Roe, they thought Bush was likely to appoint a nominee who would vote to make abortion against the law, yet as the questions in the previous section showed, they have generally felt comfortable with Bush making the decision. AEI’s Public Opinion Study on Abortion examines these issues in more detail, which you can view at AEI.org.

Views and Qualifications of the Nominee
• When a Senate votes on a Supreme Court nominee, should it only consider that person’s legal qualifications and background, or along with legal background, should the Senate also consider how that nominee might vote on major issues the Supreme Court decides? Legal qualifications How might & background vote on issues Sep. 1987 CBS/NYT 39% 52% Sep. 1991 CBS/NYT 39 49 Jul. 2005 CBS/NYT 45 47 Jul.-Aug. 2005 CBS/NYT 46 46 Sep. 2005 CBS 33 58 Sep. 2005 CBS/NYT 36 54 Sep.-Oct. 2005 CBS 35 54 Jan. 2006 CBS 41 49 June 2009 CBS/NYT 30 62 As you may know, a majority of the United States Senate must vote to confirm a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court ...Assuming a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court is qualified legally and has no ethical problems, do you think a U.S. Senator would be justified – or not justified – in basing his or her vote on that nominee’s stance on current issues such as abortion, gun control, or affirmative action? ----Basing vote on nominee’s stance on current issues----Justified Not justified Gallup/CNN/USA Today 59% 36%

Jun. 2002

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample.

24

Would you favor or oppose appointing someone who isn’t a lawyer to the U.S. Supreme Court? Strongly favor 16% Somewhat favor 24% Strongly oppose 24% Somewhat oppose 34%

Sep. 2009 •

AP-GfK/Roper

As you may know, a majority of the United States Senate must vote to confirm a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court ...Which comes closest to your view about a U.S. Senator’s vote about a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court – a senator should only vote against a nominee if that person is not legally qualified or has some ethical problem, or a senator would be justified in voting against a nominee if the Senator disagrees with the nominee’s stance on issues such as abortion, gun control, or affirmative action, but the nominee was qualified otherwise? Only vote against if not qualified 57% Justified if disagrees with stance on issues 40%

Jun. 2002

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample. • Over the past twenty years, nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to discuss their views on specific issues, such as whether a woman has the constitutional right to be able to have an abortion, during their confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your view about whether a Supreme Court nominee should publicly state his or her position on critical issues before the Court. A nominee should be required to state his or her positions on these issues so that senators have this information to decide whether to confirm this person for life or a nominee should not be required to state his or her positions on these issues as judges should be selected based on their experience and overall qualifications, not their positions on issues that may come before the Court later. ------Supreme Court nominee should state publicly position on issues like abortion----Required Not required NBC/WSJ 43% 53% NBC/WSJ 36 57

Jul. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

Do you think the public has the right to know about the private life of anyone nominated to the Supreme Court? Yes 61% No 34%

May 2010

Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents • 54% 71 59 41% 25 35

Now thinking about future nominees to the United States Supreme Court, how important is it to you, personally, that they share your views on the abortion issue – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all? Very important 45% Somewhat important 31% Not too important 15% Not at all important 8%

May 2005 •

Gallup

How important is it to you that the next person nominated to join the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with your position on abortion...is that extremely important to you, very important, somewhat important, or less important than that? Extremely important 26% Very important 28% Somewhat important 30% Less important than that 15%

Dec. 2004

ABC/Wash Post

25

Do you think the next person nominated to join the United States Supreme Court should be someone who thinks abortion should be legal in all or most cases, or someone who thinks abortion should be illegal in all or most cases? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat? ----Supreme Court nominee should be someone who thinks abortion should be------Legal all/most Legal all/most Illegal all/most Illegal all/most cases strongly cases somewhat cases somewhat cases strongly 34% 16% 9% 35%

Jun. 2003 •

ABC

Do you think that any nominee to the Supreme Court should publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved by the Senate, or do you think that nominees should not be required to state their position on that issue? ------Supreme Court nominee should-state publicly position on abortion----Required Not required LA Times 46% 48%

Jan. 2005 •

Do you think the next person nominated to join the United States Supreme Court should or should not publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? -------Publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved--Should Should not Quinnipiac 62% 32%

Dec. 2004 •

Do you think the next person nominated to join the United States Supreme Court should or should not publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? -------Publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved--Strongly Somewhat Somewhat Strongly should should should not should not 57% 15% 8% 16%

Jun. 2003 •

ABC

If a nominee to the United States Supreme Court is a qualified judge, do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for a U.S. Senator to base his or her vote on the nominee becoming a Supreme Court justice solely on the nominee’s position on abortion? Acceptable 15% 20 15 Unacceptable 72% 73 75

Jun.-July 2003 Jul. 2005 Dec. 2005

Fox News Fox News Fox News

NOTE: Questions asked of registered voters. • Before Senators vote on whether a nominee should be confirmed to the Supreme Court, how important do you think it is for the Senate to know his or her position on abortion – is that very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important? -----------Important for Senate to know position on abortion-----------Very Somewhat Not very Not at all important important important important 37% 34% 16% 12%

Dec. 2005

CBS/NYT

26

Do you think picking justices to sit on the Supreme Court is mainly about the issue of abortion, or is it mainly about issues other than abortion? Abortion 22% Other Issues 69%

Jul. 2009

Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Should Senators support or oppose President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court based only on whether he or she is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage? Qualifications 47% Consider views 43% 20% 25 23 70% 66 70

Apr. 2010

Quinnipiac

Roberts’s views on Abortion
• Do you think it would be appropriate or inappropriate for senators to ask Roberts general questions about his overall views on the abortion issue? Appropriate 74% Inappropriate 22%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Do you think it would be appropriate or inappropriate for senators to ask Roberts specific questions about how he would rule on individual cases involving the abortion issue? Appropriate 61% Inappropriate 36%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Do you think Supreme Court nominee John Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion? Should publicly state view 61% Should not publicly state view 32%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Do you think United States Senators would be justified or not justified in voting against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts if he refuses to state his position on abortion? Justified 43% Not justified 47%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

When the U.S. Senate holds hearings on the John Roberts nomination, do you think Senators should insist that he explain his views on abortion before confirming, or should he be allowed to refuse to answer questions about abortion? Insist he explain his views 61% Allowed to refuse to answer 37%

Jul. 2005

Gallup

27

Do you think Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? -------Publicly state his position on abortion before being approved--Should Should not Jul. 2005 ABC/Wash Post 64% 34% Do you think Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? -------Publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved--Should Should not Jul. 2005 ABC/Wash Post 64% 34%

Bush’s Nominees and Abortion
• When George W. Bush appoints Supreme Court justices do you think he is likely to appoint justices who will vote to keep abortion legal or justices who will votes to make abortion against the law? ------Likely to appoint justices who would------Keep abortion Make abortion legal against the law 29% 51% 17 64 15 71

Jan. 2003 Nov. 2004 Jan. 2005 •

CBS/NYT CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

George W. Bush said that he would not use a nominee’s beliefs on abortion as the deciding factor for his selection of a United States Supreme Court justice. Do you believe Bush when he says he will not use an abortion test for his selection of a United States Supreme Court justice, or do you not believe that? ----Believe that Bush will not use abortion test for selection---Believe him Do not believe him 44% 42% 50 41 45 50

Mar. 2001 Dec. 2002 Jan. 2005 •

LA Times LA Times LA Times

As you may know, President Bush may have the opportunity to appoint several new justices to the United States Supreme Court during his second term. Do you think the next person nominated to join the United States Supreme Court should or should not publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? -------Publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved--Strongly Do not feel Do not feel strongly Strongly should strongly should should not should not AP/Ipsos 52% 9% 28% 8%

Nov. 2004 •

As you may know, President Bush may have the opportunity to appoint several new justices to the United States Supreme Court during his second term. The 1973 Supreme Court decision ruling called Roe v Wade made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Do you think President Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold Roe vs. Wade or nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision? ------Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would----Uphold Overturn Roe v Wade Roe v Wade 61% 34% 59 31

Nov. 2004* Nov. 2004

AP/Ipsos AP/Ipsos

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters.

28

The 1973 Supreme Court decision ruling called Roe v Wade made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Do you think President Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold Roe vs. Wade or nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision? ------Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would----Uphold Overturn Roe v Wade Roe v Wade Quinnipiac 50% 34%

Dec. 2004

ELENA KAGAN: President Obama nominated Elena Kagan in May 2010 and Gallup noted that early soundings about her were a little less positive than initial soundings on most earlier nominees. This could have something to do with Kagan or it could be a commentary on the generally sour mood of the country. Even several months after Kagan had been nominated, many did not have an opinion on her. In a July 2010 Fox News poll, 40 percent said they had never heard of her.

As you may know, _____________ is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of _______ serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes 31% 38 52 53 59 51 52 58 60 44 42 50 49 49 54 54 47 53 55 51 46 44 54 44 46 54 No 25% 35 17 14 22 28 26 27 26 36 43 25 29 30 30 28 40 33 36 36 36 34 34 39 32 36 No Opinion 44% 26 31 33 19 21 22 15 14 20 15 25 22 21 16 19 13 13 9 14 18 22 12 17 22 11

Aug.- Sep. 1987 (Bork) # Sep. 1987 (Bork)# Jul. 1991 (Thomas) * Jun. 1993 (Ginsburg) ^ Jul. 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 5-7, 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 28-30, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 8-11, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 16-18, 2005 (Roberts) Oct. 13-16, 2005 (Miers) Oct. 21-23, 2005 (Miers) Nov. 2005 (Alito) Dec. 2005 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) May 2009 (Sotomayor) Jun. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 10-12, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 17-19, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2010 (Kagan)** Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC

NOTE: # Question wording was: “Robert Bork is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Reagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Bork serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or not?; * Question wording read, “Clarence Thomas is a federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to

29

see the Senate vote in favor of Clarence Thomas serving on the Supreme Court?”; ^ question wording read, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Ginsburg serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” **Question wording read ‘As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court. • As you may know, ___________ recently nominated ____________ to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose ________ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 22% 11 16 16 24 21 25 14 11 Somewhat support 16% 16 16 16 20 22 19 17 18 Somewhat oppose 10% 10 10 9 12 9 13 11 9 Strongly oppose 10% 11 10 9 13 11 17 10 14

Sep. 2005 (John Roberts) Oct. 2005 (Harriet Miers) Nov. 2005 (Sam Alito) Dec. 2005 (Sam Alito) Jan. 2006 (Sam Alito) Jun. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) Jul. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) May 2010 (Elena Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Elena Kagan)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC* NBC/WSJ

DK 41% 51 47 48 30 35 25 47 47

NOTE: *Poll conducted by NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo. • As you may know, Obama has nominated U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court? Should 58% Should not 24% No opinion 18%

Jun. 2010 •

ABC/Wash Post

From what you’ve seen or heard so far, do you think the Senate should or should not confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court? Should 33% 33 Should not 21% 25 Refused/DK 46% 42

May 2010 Jun. 2010 •

Pew Pew

Now I’m going to read you the names of several public figures and groups, and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please say so. Elana Kagan. Very Positive 6% Somewhat Positive 10% Neutral 19% Somewhat Negative 5% Very Negative 6% DK 53%

May 2010 •

NBC

As you may know, Barack Obama recently nominated Elena Kagan to serve as justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose Elana Kagan’s serving on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly Support 14% Somewhat Support 17% Somewhat Oppose Strongly Oppose Don’t Know 11% 10% 47%

May 2010 •

NBC

As you may know, President Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Generally speaking, how would you rate Obama’s choice of Elena Kagan as a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court – as excellent, good, only fair, or poor? Excellent 13% Good 27% Only fair 22% Poor 14% No opinion 24%

May 2010

Gallup

30

Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court? Approve 48% 46 Disapprove 30% 34

May 2010 Jul. 2010

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns, May 2010) Republicans Democrats Independents (Demographic breakdowns, July 2010) Republicans Democrats Independents • 21% 74 43 57% 10 35 22% 73 45 57% 10 31

Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven’t you heard enough about Elena Kagan yet to have an opinion? Favorable 16% Not favorable 11% Undecided 23% Haven’t heard enough 49%

May 2010 •

CBS

I’m going to read you the names of several individuals. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of Elena Kagan. Favorable 24% Unfavorable 17% Can’t Say 19% Never heard 40%

Jul. 2010 •

Fox News

As you may know, Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes, vote in favor 54% 44 44 54 46 Not vote in favor 36% 34 39 34 36 No opinion 11% 22 17 12 18

May 2010 Jun. 2010 (early) Jun. 2010 (mid) Jul. 2010 Jul.-Aug. 2010 •

CNN/ORC CNN/ORC CNN/ORC CNN/ORC CNN/ORC

President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. If you were voting on Kagen’s nomination, would you vote to confirm her or not? Yes, to confirm 39% 38 No, not confirm 29% 36 Don’t know 33% 26

May 2010* Jun. 2010 *

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question of registered voters.

31

Kagan and the Issue of Abortion
• Do you think Kagan should or should not publicly state her position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? Should 54% Should not 42% No opinion 5%

Jun. 2010

ABC/WSJ

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample. • Should Senators support or oppose Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether she is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider her views on controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage? Qualifications 43% Consider views 43%

May 2010 •

Quinnipiac

If senators did not agree with Elena Kagan on controversial issues like abortion and gay marriage, do you think they would be justified, or not justified in using the filibuster to prevent her nomination from coming to a vote? Justified 37% Not justified 50% Don’t know 13%

May 2010

Quinnipiac

Kagan’s Ideological Leanings
• From what you know about Elena Kagan, as a Supreme Court Justice, do you think she would be too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? Too liberal 40% Too conservative 6% About right 50% No opinion 4%

May 2010 •

CNN/ORC

Based on what you have heard or read about her, do you think Elena Kagan’s views on important issues are in the mainstream or do you think they are too extreme? Mainstream 54% Too extreme 36% No opinion 10%

May 2010

CNN/ORC

What is your impression of Elena Kagan, do you think she is liberal, moderate or conservative? Liberal 28% Moderate 24% Conservative 7% Don’t know 41%

Jun. 2010 •

Pew

At her confirmation hearing, do you think Kagan should or should not answer questions about how she would have ruled on past cases that have come before the Supreme Court? Should 66% Should not 29% No opinion 5%

Jun. 2010

ABC/WSJ

NOTE: Asked of a half sample.

32

SONIA SOTOMAYOR: Initial reactions to Judge Sotomayor were positive, as the questions below indicate. All polls showed that more people supported her confirmation than opposed it, but many people did not have an opinion or had not heard enough to say.

As you may know, ____________ is the federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the As you may know, _____________ is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of _______ serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes 31% 38 52 53 59 51 52 58 60 44 42 50 49 49 54 54 47 53 55 51 46 44 54 44 46 54 No 25% 35 17 14 22 28 26 27 26 36 43 25 29 30 30 28 40 33 36 36 36 34 34 39 32 36 No Opinion 44% 26 31 33 19 21 22 15 14 20 15 25 22 21 16 19 13 13 9 14 18 22 12 17 22 11

Aug.- Sep. 1987 (Bork) # Sep. 1987 (Bork)# Jul. 1991 (Thomas) * Jun. 1993 (Ginsburg) ^ Jul. 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 5-7, 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 28-30, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 8-11, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 16-18, 2005 (Roberts) Oct. 13-16, 2005 (Miers) Oct. 21-23, 2005 (Miers) Nov. 2005 (Alito) Dec. 2005 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) May 2009 (Sotomayor) Jun. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 10-12, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 17-19, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. -Aug 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2010 (Kagan)** Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC

NOTE: # Question wording was: “Robert Bork is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Reagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Bork serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or not?; * Question wording read, “Clarence Thomas is a federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Clarence Thomas serving on the Supreme Court?”; ^ question wording read, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Ginsburg serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” **Question wording read ‘As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court. • As you may know, ___________ recently nominated ____________ to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose ________ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 22% 11 Somewhat support 16% 16 Somewhat oppose 10% 10 Strongly oppose 10% 11

Sep. 2005 (John Roberts) Oct. 2005 (Harriet Miers)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ

DK 41% 51

33

Nov. 2005 (Sam Alito) Dec. 2005 (Sam Alito) Jan. 2006 (Sam Alito) Jun. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) Jul. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) May 2010 (Elena Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Elena Kagan)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC* NBC/WSJ

16 16 24 21 25 14 11

16 16 20 22 19 17 18

10 9 12 9 13 11 9

10 9 13 11 17 10 14

47 48 30 35 25 47 47

NOTE: *Poll conducted by NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo. • Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court? Approve 54% 55 54 52 Disapprove 24% 25 26 32

May 2009 May-Jun. 2009 Jul. 2009 Apr. 2010 •

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

As you may know, Barack Obama recently nominated Sonia Sotomayor to serve as justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose Sonia Sotomayor’s serving on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly Support 21% 25 Somewhat Support 22% 19 Somewhat Oppose Strongly Oppose Don’t Know 9% 11% 35% 13 17 25

Jun.2009 Jul. 2009 •

NBC NBC

President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. If you were voting on Sotomayor’s nomination, would you vote to confirm her or not? Confirm 46% 53 Not Confirm 32% 29 Don’t Know 22% 19

Jun. 2009 * Jul. 2009*

Fox News Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns, June 2009) Democrats Republicans Independents (Demographic breakdowns, July 2009) Democrats Republicans Independents 72% 29 53 9% 54 24 19% 17 23 69% 19 46 12% 55 33 19% 27 21

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Now I’m going to read you the names of several public figures and groups, and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please say so. Sonia Sotomayor. (p all) Very Positive 13% 16 11 Somewhat Positive 17% 15 16 Neutral 24% 22 24 Somewhat Negative 8% 14 7 Very Negative DK 8% 30% 13 20 8 34

Jun. 2009 Jul. 2009 May 2010

NBC NBC NBC

34

Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven’t heard enough about Sonia Sotomayor yet to have an opinion? Haven’t heard Favorable Not favorable Undecided enough Jun. 2009 CBS/NYT 33% 9% 22% 36% Jul. 2009 CBS 23 15 23 39 Based on what you have heard so far, do you think that Sonia Sotomayor is qualified or not qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, or do you not know enough about her to say? Qualified 50% Not qualified 13% Don’t know enough 35%

Jun. 2009 •

NBC/WSJ

What do you think right now? Should the Senate vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, or vote against Sotomayor, or can’t you say? Vote to confirm 34% 30 Vote against 9% 14 Can’t say 53% 52

Jun. 2009 Jul. 2009 •

CBS/NYT CBS

From what you’ve seen and heard so far, do you think the Senate should or should not confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court? Should Should not Don’t know Jun. 2009 Pew 50% 25% 25%

Ideological Leanings
• From what you know about Sonia Sotomayor, do you think she would be too liberal, too conservative, or just about right as Supreme Court justice? Too liberal 28% Too conservative 3% About right 48

May 2009 •

Gallup/USA Today

What is your impression of Sonia Sotomayor, do you think she is liberal, moderate, or conservative? Liberal 31% Moderate 34% Conservative 8% Not Sure 26%

Jun. 2009 •

Pew

Based on what you have heard or read about her, do you think Sonia Sotomayor’s views on important issues are in the mainstream or do you think they are too extreme? Mainstream 49% Extreme 30% No opinion 21%

May 2009 •

Gallup/USA Today

As you may have heard, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has said several times that a wise female Hispanic judge would make better decisions than a white male judge. Do you think these remarks should disqualify her from serving on the Court or not? Yes, disqualifies her 29% No, does not 67%

Jun. 2009

Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans 15% 44 83% 51

35

Independents NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. •

30

30

Here’s exactly what Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said in a speech in 2001: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Do you agree with her or not? Yes 32% No 58%

Jun. 2009

Fox News

(Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents 47% 18 27 42% 77 61

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Would you say that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is more liberal than you would like, not liberal enough, or about right? More Not liberal liberal enough About right May 2009 Quinnipiac 30% 5% 42% May-Jun. 2009 Quinnipiac 30 5 44 Should Senators support or oppose Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether she is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider her views on controversial issues like abortion and affirmative action? Only qualifications 47% 46 Consider views 43% 44

May 2009 May-Jun. 2009 •

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

Suppose the upcoming confirmation hearings indicate that Sonia Sotomayor is qualified and has no ethical problems. Do you think U.S. Senators would be justified or unjustified in voting against her if they disagree with her stance on current issues such as abortion or gun control? Justified 47% Unjustified 49%

Jun. 2009 •

CNN/USA Today/ Gallup

If Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court, do you think she will favor certain groups over others when making her judicial decisions, or do you think she will treat all groups the same under the law? Will favor 18% 21 Will treat the same 55% 60 Depends 2% 2

Jun. 2009 Jul. 2009

CBS/NYT CBS

36

JOHN ROBERTS: Initial reactions to Judge John Roberts were positive as the questions below show, though a substantial number didn’t have an opinion. All the questions from major pollsters that were asked about whether he should be confirmed showed more people in favor of his confirmation than opposed.

As you may know, _____________ is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Alito serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes 31% 38 52 53 59 51 52 58 60 44 42 50 49 49 54 54 47 53 55 51 46 44 54 44 46 54 No 25% 35 17 14 22 28 26 27 26 36 43 25 29 30 30 28 40 33 36 36 36 34 34 39 32 36 No Opinion 44% 26 31 33 19 21 22 15 14 20 15 25 22 21 16 19 13 13 9 14 18 22 12 17 22 11

Aug.- Sep. 1987 (Bork) # Sep. 1987 (Bork)# Jul. 1991 (Thomas) * Jun. 1993 (Ginsburg) ^ Jul. 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 5-7, 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 28-30, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 8-11, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 16-18, 2005 (Roberts) Oct. 13-16, 2005 (Miers) Oct. 21-23, 2005 (Miers) Nov. 2005 (Alito) Dec. 2005 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) May 2009 (Sotomayor) Jun. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 10-12, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 17-19, 2009 (Sotomayor) July 31-Aug 2, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2010 (Kagan)** Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC

NOTE: # Question wording was: “Robert Bork is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Reagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Bork serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or not?; * Question wording read, “Clarence Thomas is a federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Clarence Thomas serving on the Supreme Court?”; ^ question wording read, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Ginsburg serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” **Question wording read ‘As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court.

37

As you may know, ___________ recently nominated ____________ to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose ________ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 22% 11 16 16 24 21 25 14 11 Somewhat support 16% 16 16 16 20 22 19 17 18 Somewhat oppose 10% 10 10 9 12 9 13 11 9 Strongly oppose 10% 11 10 9 13 11 17 10 14

Sep. 2005 (John Roberts) Oct. 2005 (Harriet Miers) Nov. 2005 (Sam Alito) Dec. 2005 (Sam Alito) Jan. 2006 (Sam Alito) Jun. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) Jul. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) May 2010 (Elena Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Elena Kagan)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC* NBC/WSJ

DK 41% 51 47 48 30 35 25 47 47

NOTE: *Poll conducted by NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo.

Should Roberts Be Confirmed
• On a different subject for a moment, from what you’ve heard or read, do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm John Roberts as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Should 35% 46 Should not 19% 21 Don’t know 46% 33

Sep. 2005 (Early) Pew Sep. 2005 (Mid) Pew •

What do you think right now? Should the Senate vote to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, or vote against Roberts, or can’t you say? Vote to confirm 26% 35 26 50 Vote against 9% 10 8 23 Can’t say 60% 49 63 27

Aug. 2005 Sep. 2005 Sep. 2005 Jul. 2009 •

CBS CBS CBS/NYT Pew

Based on what you’ve heard or read about John Roberts, do you think he should or should not be confirmed by the Senate to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Should 48% Should not 26% Don’t know 26%

Sep. 2005 •

SRBI/Time

On another subject...Based on what you’ve heard or read about John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, do you think he should or should not be confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Court? Should 47% 44 Should not 24% 24 No opinion 29% 32

Aug. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

PSRA/Newsweek PSRA/Newsweek

Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court? Should 59% 57 55 Should not 23% 22 26 No opinion 17% 20 19

Jul. 2005 Aug. 2005 Sep. 2005*

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

38

NOTE: * Question wording read, “As you may know, Bush has nominated federal judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Roberts’ nomination as Chief Justice?” • President Bush has nominated John Roberts to replace sitting Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. If you were voting on John Roberts nomination, would you vote to confirm him or not? Yes 51% 50 No 19% 26 Don’t know 30% 24

Jul. 2005* Aug. 2005*

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • As you may know, President Bush recently nominated John Roberts to serve as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose John Roberts serving as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or don’t you know enough about him to say? Strongly support 22% Somewhat support 16% Somewhat oppose 10% Strongly oppose 10% Don’t know 41%

Sep. 2005

NBC/WSJ

Will Roberts Be Confirmed
• What do you expect will happen – do you think John Roberts probably will or probably will not be confirmed by the Senate to sit on the Supreme Court? Probably will 73% 71 Probably will not 8% 7

Jul.-Aug. 2005 Aug. 2005 •

CBS CBS

Do you think the Senate will confirm John Roberts or not? Will 70% 75 Will not 7% 6

Jul. 2005* Sep. 2005*

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters.

Impressions of Roberts
• How would describe your first impressions of him (John Roberts)? Would you say they are very positive, somewhat positive, neither positive nor negative, somewhat negative, or very negative? Very positive 26% Somewhat positive 28% Somewhat negative 8% Very negative 7%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Neither 21%

Next, we’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people – or if you have never heard of them. How about . . . U.S. Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts? Favorable 46% 50 Unfavorable 13% 17 Never heard of 19% 14

Jul. 2005 Sep. 2005

Gallup Gallup

39

Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven’t you heard enough about John Roberts yet to have an opinion? Not heard enough 51% 45 46

Jul.-Aug. 2005 Aug. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

CBS CBS CBS/NYT

Favorable 25% 22 25

Unfavorable 7% 8 8

Undecided 17% 24 20

Generally speaking, how would you rate Bush’s choice of John Roberts as a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court – as excellent, good, only fair, or poor? Excellent 25% Good 26% Only fair 20% Poor 14%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court? Approve 44% Disapprove 27% Don’t know 29%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

President George W. Bush has nominated John Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you approve or disapprove of John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court? Approve 48% 51 Disapprove 17% 21 Don’t know 34% 27

Jul. 2005* Sep. 2005*

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Overall, do you think John Roberts is qualified to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court, or not? Qualified 65% 62 Not qualified 10% 14 Don’t know 25% 24

Jul. 2005* Sep. 2005*

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Would you say that the more you hear about Roberts the more you like him or the more you hear about Roberts the less you like him? More you like him 39% Less you like him 28%

Aug. 2005

ABC/Wash Post

No difference 16%

Ideological Leanings
• Is John Roberts more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right, or don’t you know enough about John Roberts yet to say? More conservative 14% About right 22% Not conservative enough 2% Don’t know 61%

Sep. 2005

CBS/NYT

40

From what you’ve heard or read, are you concerned that John Roberts is too conservative, too liberal, or aren’t you concerned about his ideology? Too conservative 20% Too liberal 5% Not concerned 39% Don’t know 36%

Sep. 2005 •

Pew

From what you know about John Roberts, as a Supreme Court Justice, do you think he would be too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? Too conservative 24% About right 48% Too liberal 8% No opinion 20%

Aug. 2005 •

Gallup

Would you say that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts is more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right? More conservative 29% About right 41% Not conservative enough 8% Don’t know 21%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

From what you know about John Roberts, would you say he is more of liberal or a conservative? Liberal 8% Conservative 56% Moderate 8% Don’t know 28%

Jul. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

Roberts and the Issue of Abortion
• Do you think it would be appropriate or inappropriate for senators to ask Roberts general questions about his overall views on the abortion issue? Appropriate Inappropriate Jul. 2005 Gallup 74% 22% Do you think it would be appropriate or inappropriate for senators to ask Roberts specific questions about how he would rule on individual cases involving the abortion issue? Appropriate 61% Inappropriate 36%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

When the U.S. Senate holds hearings on the John Roberts nomination, do you think Senators should insist he explain his views on abortion before confirming, or should he be allowed to refuse to answer questions about abortion? Insist he explain his views 61% Allowed to refuse to answer 37%

Jul. 2005

Gallup

41

Over the past twenty years, nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to discuss their views on specific issues, such as whether a woman has the constitutional right to be able to have an abortion, during their confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your view about whether a Supreme Court nominee should publicly state his or her position on critical issues before the Court. A nominee should be required to state his or her positions on these issues so that senators have this information to decide whether to confirm this person for life or a nominee should not be required to state his or her positions on these issues as judges should be selected based on their experience and overall qualifications, not their positions on issues that may come before the Court later. ------Supreme Court nominee should state publicly position on issues like abortion----Required Not required NBC/WSJ 43% 53% NBC/WSJ 36 57

Jul. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

Do you think Supreme Court nominee John Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion? Should publicly state view 61% Should not publicly state view 32%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Do you think Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion before being approved by the U.S. Senate for the job? ------Publicly state his or her position on abortion before being approved--Should Should not Jul. 2005 ABC/Wash Post 64% 34% Do you think United States Senators would be justified or not justified in voting against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts if he refuses to state his position on abortion? Justified 43% Not justified 47%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Before Senators vote on whether John Roberts should sit on the Supreme Court, how important do you think it is for the Senate to know what his position on abortion is – is that very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important? Very important 30% Somewhat important 35% Not very important 13% Not at all important 19%

Jul.-Aug. 2005

CBS

Past Cases
• At his confirmation hearing, do you think Roberts should or should not answer questions about how he would have ruled on past cases that have come before the Supreme Court? Should 61% 52 Should not 36% 42

Jul. 2005 Aug. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

In previous Senate confirmation hearings, some nominees have refused to answer questions related to past Supreme Court cases or cases that may come before the Court in the future. Do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for John Roberts to decline to answer questions on past or future cases before the Supreme Court? Acceptable 41% Unacceptable 43%

Jul. 2005 Fox News NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

42

Miscellany
• Do you think a senator who believes Roberts has the right background and qualifications, but who disagrees with his judicial philosophy and legal views, should vote for or against Robert’s nomination? Vote for 53% 49 Vote against 41% 37

Jul. 2005 Aug. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

Should Senators support or oppose John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether he is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider his views on controversial issues like abortion and the death penalty? Qualifications 36% Views on issues 56%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Do you think John Roberts’ religious beliefs should or should not be something Senators consider when deciding whether to confirm him? Should Should not Aug. 2005 Fox News 22% 61% NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

John Roberts is a practicing Catholic. Knowing this, are you more likely, or less likely to support his confirmation? More likely 21% Less likely 13% No difference 57%

Aug. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Should Senators support or oppose John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether he is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider his views on controversial issues like abortion and the death penalty? Qualifications 36% Views on issues 56%

Jul. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

As you may know, Roberts was nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Does it bother you that President Bush did not nominate a woman to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, or does it not bother you? Yes, bother you 21% No, does not 77%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Would you have preferred George W. Bush nominate a woman to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, or does it not matter to you? Preferred woman 25% Does not matter 75%

Jul.-Aug. 2005 •

CBS

So far, have you heard anything about John Roberts that you think disqualifies him from serving on the Supreme Court? Yes 9% No 83% Don’t know 8%

Jul. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

43

How much does it matter to you whether or not John Roberts is confirmed by the Senate – a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all? Great deal 37% Moderate amount 20%

Jul. 2005

Gallup

Not much 18%

Not at all 13%

Continued Performance
• Do you approve or disapprove of the way John Roberts is handling his job as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Approve 49% 48 Disapprove 21% 27 Don’t know 30% 25

Apr. 2010 Jul.-Aug. 2010

Quinnipiac Gallup/USA Today

(Demographic breakdowns, April 2000) Republican Independent Democrat Conservative Moderate Liberal (Demographic breakdowns, Jul.-Aug. 2010) Republican Independent Democrat Conservative Moderate Liberal Male Female •

52% 50 47 56 50 38

18% 21 27 19 19 33

30% 29 26 25 30 29

51% 50 45 53 47 39 52 44

21% 27 33 23 25 40 27 28

27% 21 21 24 26 20 20 27

Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough about him? Favorable 21% 17 Unfavorable 9% 7 Mixed 21% 18 Haven’t heard enough 49% 57

Aug. 2007 Jul. 2008 •

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

How would you rate the job Chief Justice John Roberts is doing—excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor? Pretty good 33% 32 35 Only fair 29% 30 30 Not sure 23% 18 20

Mar. 2006 Jun. 2006 Sep. 2006

Harris Harris Harris

Excellent 8% 9 7

Poor 8% 11 8

44

HARRIET MIERS: Americans were less enthusiastic about the Miers’ nomination than they were about John Roberts’. By late October, 42 percent said the Senate should vote in favor of her and 43 percent said it should not. Sixty-six percent told CBS that her Miers being a women made no difference in their support for her nomination. But after Bush withdrew her nomination, 59 percent told Gallup that Bush nominating another women was important to them.

As you may know, _____________ is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of ______ serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes 31% 38 52 53 59 51 52 58 60 44 42 50 49 49 54 54 47 53 55 51 46 44 54 44 46 54 No 25% 35 17 14 22 28 26 27 26 36 43 25 29 30 30 28 40 33 36 36 36 34 34 39 32 36 No Opinion 44% 26 31 33 19 21 22 15 14 20 15 25 22 21 16 19 13 13 9 14 18 22 12 17 22 11

Aug.- Sep. 1987 (Bork) # Sep. 1987 (Bork)# Jul. 1991 (Thomas) * Jun. 1993 (Ginsburg) ^ Jul. 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 5-7, 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 28-30, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 8-11, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 16-18, 2005 (Roberts) Oct. 13-16, 2005 (Miers) Oct. 21-23, 2005 (Miers) Nov. 2005 (Alito) Dec. 2005 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) May 2009 (Sotomayor) Jun. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 10-12, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 17-19, 2009 (Sotomayor) July 31-Aug 2, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2010 (Kagan)** Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC

NOTE: # Question wording was: “Robert Bork is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Reagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Bork serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or not?; * Question wording read, “Clarence Thomas is a federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Clarence Thomas serving on the Supreme Court?”; ^ question wording read, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Ginsburg serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” **Question wording read ‘As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court.

45

As you may know, ___________ recently nominated ____________ to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose ________ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 22% 11 16 16 24 21 25 14 11 Somewhat support 16% 16 16 16 20 22 19 17 18 Somewhat oppose 10% 10 10 9 12 9 13 11 9 Strongly oppose 10% 11 10 9 13 11 17 10 14

Sep. 2005 (John Roberts) Oct. 2005 (Harriet Miers) Nov. 2005 (Sam Alito) Dec. 2005 (Sam Alito) Jan. 2006 (Sam Alito) June 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) July 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) May 2010 (Elena Kagan) June 2010 (Elena Kagan)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC* NBC/WSJ

DK 41% 51 47 48 30 35 25 47 47

NOTE: *Poll conducted by NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo. • As you may know, President Bush recently nominated Harrier Miers to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose Harriet Miers’ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 11% Somewhat support 16% Somewhat oppose 10% Strongly oppose 11%

Oct. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ

From what you’ve heard so far, do you think the Senate should or should not confirm Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court? Should 33% Should not 27% Don’t know 40%

Oct. 2005 •

Pew

If you were voting on Harriet Miers’ nomination, would you vote to confirm her or not? Yes, confirm 37% 35 No, not confirm 32% 38 Don’t know 31% 27

Oct. 2005 * Oct. 2005 *

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters.

Impressions of Miers
• Generally speaking, how would you rate Bush’s choice of Harriet Miers to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court – as excellent, good, only fair, or poor? Excellent 11% Good 33% Only fair 25% Poor 16%

Oct. 2005 •

Gallup

Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers favorable, unfavorable, undecided or haven’t you heard enough about Harriet Miers yet to have an opinion? Favorable 11% Not favorable 11% Undecided 18% Haven’t heard enough 59%

Oct. 2005

CBS News

46

Next, we’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people – or if you have never heard of them. How about – U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers? Favorable 31% Unfavorable 26% Haven’t heard 17%

Oct. 2005 •

Gallup

How would describe your first impressions of her (Harriet Miers)? Would you say they are very positive, somewhat positive, neither positive nor negative, somewhat negative, or very negative? Very positive 14% Somewhat positive 28% Somewhat negative 10% Very negative 4%

Oct. 2004

Gallup

Neither 34%

Miers and the Issue of Abortion
• When the U.S. Senate holds hearings on the Harriet Miers nomination, do you think Senators should insist that she explain her views on abortion before confirming her, or should she be allowed to refuse to answer questions about abortion? Insist she explain her views 55% Allowed to refuse to answer 42%

Oct. 2005

Gallup

Will Miers Be Confirmed
• Do you think the Senate will confirm Harriet Miers or not? Yes 48% No 19% Don’t know 33%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Which group do you think is causing President Bush the most trouble over the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans? Liberal Democrats 30% Conservative Republicans 26%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

Both 22%

Neither 3%

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Which one of the following do you think is most likely to happen? Do you think Harriet Miers will be confirmed by the Senate, be voted down by the Senate, or withdraw her name from consideration before a Senate vote? Confirmed 37% Voted down 17% Withdraw 21%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

47

Ideological Leanings
• From what you know about Harriet Miers, would you say she is more of a liberal or a conservative? Liberal 6% Conservative 47% Don’t know 39%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Do you worry that Harriet Miers would make the Supreme Court too conservative, not conservative enough, or do you not worry about this? Too Not conservative conservative enough Don’t worry Don’t know Oct. 2005 Pew 18% 8% 56% 18% NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

Miers’s Qualifications
• Based on what you have heard so far, do you think that Harriet Miers is qualified or not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, or do you not know enough about her to say? Qualified 29% Not qualified 24% Don’t know 46%

Oct. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ

Overall, do you think Harriet Miers is qualified to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court or not? Qualified 37% Not qualified 28% Don’t know 35%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • I’m going to read several things about Harriet Miers. For each one, please tell me whether this makes you feel more positive about Harriet Miers sitting on the Supreme Court, less positive, or does it make no difference to you either way? Oct. 2005 NBC/WSJ More positive She was the first woman to be the president of the Texas Bar Association She has been named one of America’s one hundred most powerful lawyers She had worker for President Bush as his personal lawyer for many years, previously while he was governor of Texas, and most recently as White House Counsel She has not previously served as a judge Her positions on many legal issues facing the court are unknown. 47% Less positive 10% No difference 42%

45

14

39

24 8

40 50

35 40

8

52

37

48

Thinking about Harriet Miers’ background, does each of the following make you - more likely to support her nomination, does it make no difference, or does it make you less likely to support her nomination? How about . . . ? Oct. 2005 Gallup/USA Today More likely 29% 16 12 10 No difference 66% 38 33 42 Less likely 5% 44 49 46

She is a woman She has close personal ties to George W. Bush Her views on most major issues are no known She have never served as a judge •

So far, have you heard anything about Harriet Miers that you think disqualifies her from serving on the Supreme Court? Yes 13% No 77% Don’t know 10%

Oct. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

Miers’s Withdrawal
• Would you like to see President Bush continue to support his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court or withdraw his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court? Continue support 46% Withdraw nomination 36% No opinion 18%

Oct. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Would you say you are pleased or disappointed that Harriet Miers’ nomination was withdrawn? Pleased 42% Disappointed 35% No opinion 23%

Oct. 2005

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

(Asked of only those who said they were pleased her nomination was withdrawn) If you had to choose among the following, which would you say is the most important reason why you are pleased that Harriet Miers’ nomination was withdrawn - her views are too conservative, her views are not conservative enough, she does not have strong enough qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court, or she is too close to George W. Bush personally? Too conservative Gallup/CNN/USA Today 8% Not conservative enough 4% Not qualified 49% Too close bush 35%

Oct. 2005 •

Now that George W. Bush has withdrawn his nomination of Harriet Miers, how important is it to you that he nominates another woman to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? Very important 30% Somewhat important 29% Not too important 14% Not at all important 25%

Oct. 2005

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

49

SAMUEL ALITO: Initial reactions to Judge Samuel Alito were more positive than initial reactions to Harriet Miers. All polls we saw showed that more people supported his confirmation than opposed it, but many people did not have an opinion or hadn’t heard enough to say. In two question, one by Gallup/CNN/USA Today and the other by NBC/Wall Street Journal, about a quarter said that it bothered them that Bush did not nominate a woman.
• As you may know, _____________ is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of ________ serving on the Supreme Court, or not? Yes 31% 38 52 53 59 51 52 58 60 44 42 50 49 49 54 54 47 53 55 51 46 44 54 44 46 54 No 25% 35 17 14 22 28 26 27 26 36 43 25 29 30 30 28 40 33 36 36 36 34 34 39 32 36 No Opinion 44% 26 31 33 19 21 22 15 14 20 15 25 22 21 16 19 13 13 9 14 18 22 12 17 22 11

Aug.- Sep. 1987 (Bork) # Sep. 1987 (Bork)# Jul. 1991 (Thomas) * Jun. 1993 (Ginsburg) ^ Jul. 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 5-7, 2005 (Roberts) Aug. 28-30, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 8-11, 2005 (Roberts) Sep. 16-18, 2005 (Roberts) Oct. 13-16, 2005 (Miers) Oct. 21-23, 2005 (Miers) Nov. 2005 (Alito) Dec. 2005 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) Jan. 2006 (Alito) May 2009 (Sotomayor) Jun. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 10-12, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul. 17-19, 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2009 (Sotomayor) Jul.-Aug. 2010 (Kagan)** Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jul. 2010 (Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan) May 2010 (Kagan)

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC Gallup Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC CNN/ORC Gallup/USA Today CNN/ORC

NOTE: # Question wording was: “Robert Bork is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Reagan to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Bork serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, or not?; * Question wording read, “Clarence Thomas is a federal judge nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Clarence Thomas serving on the Supreme Court?”; ^ question wording read, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a federal judge who has been nominated by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Ginsburg serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” **Question wording read ‘As you may know, Solicitor General Elena Kagan is the person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Kagan serving on the Supreme Court. • As you may know, ___________ recently nominated ____________ to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose ________ serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you not know enough about her to say? Strongly support 22% Somewhat support 16% Somewhat oppose 10% Strongly oppose 10%

Sep. 2005 (John Roberts)

NBC/WSJ

DK 41%

50

Oct. 2005 (Harriet Miers) Nov. 2005 (Sam Alito) Dec. 2005 (Sam Alito) Jan. 2006 (Sam Alito) Jun. 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) July 2009 (Sonia Sotomayor) May 2010 (Elena Kagan) Jun. 2010 (Elena Kagan)

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ NBC* NBC/WSJ

11 16 16 24 21 25 14 11

16 16 16 20 22 19 17 18

10 10 9 12 9 13 11 9

11 10 9 13 11 17 10 14

51 47 48 30 35 25 47 47

NOTE: *Poll conducted by NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo. • President Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you believe he should be confirmed by the Senate? Should confirm 34% Should not 31% Not sure 34%

Dec. 2005 •

Harris

As you may know, President Bush recently nominated Sam Alito to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose Sam Alito’s serving as a justice on the Supreme Court, or do you no know enough to say? Strongly support 16% 16 Somewhat support 16% 16 Somewhat oppose 10% 9 Strongly Oppose 10% 9 Don’t know enough 47% 48

Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ

Do you think the U.S. Senate should vote to confirm Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court Justice? Do you feel strongly or not strongly about that? ------------------Confirm---------------Strongly Not strongly 38% 22% ---------------Not confirm-------------Strongly Not strongly 16% 13%

Oct.-Nov. 2005 •

AP/Ipsos

What do you think right now? Should the Senate vote to confirm Samuel Alito as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, or vote against Alito, or can’t you say? Vote to confirm 15% 17 33 Vote against 7% 9 18 Can’t say 75% 70 46

Oct. 2005 Jan. 2006 Jan. 2006 •

CBS/NYT CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

From what you’re heard so far, do you think the Senate should or should not confirm Alito to the Supreme Court? Should confirm 40% 32 33 Should not 23% 19 19 Don’t know 37% 49 48

Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005 Jan. 4-8, 2006 •

Pew Pew Pew

On another subject, as you may know, Bush has nominated federal judge Samuel A. Alito to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court? Should confirm 49% 54 53 Should not 29% 28 27 Don’t know 22% 19 20

Oct.-Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005 Jan. 2006

ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post ABC/Wash Post

51

If you were voting on Samuel Alito’s nomination, would you vote to confirm him or not? Yes, confirm 46% 35 45 47 No 29% 27 30 32 Don’t know 25% 38 25 21

Nov. 2005* Dec. 2005* Jan. 2006 * Jan. 2006 *

Fox News Fox News Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters

Impressions of Alito
• Generally speaking, how would you rate Bush’s choice of Samuel Alito as a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court - excellent, good, only fair, or poor? Excellent 17% Good 26% Only fair 22% Poor 17%

Nov. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

As you may know, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is retiring, and President Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to replace her. Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito favorable, unfavorable, or haven’t you heard enough about Samuel Alito yet to have an opinion? Favorable 20% Unfavorable 14% No opinion 64%

Oct.-Nov. 2005 •

AP/Ipsos

Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven’t you heard enough about Samuel Alito yet to have an opinion? Haven’t heard enough 65% 57 59

Oct.-Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005 Jan. 2006 •

CBS CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

Favorable 11% 14 16

Unfavorable 7% 10 7

Undecided 16% 18 18

Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court? Approve 41% Disapprove 27%

Nov. -Dec. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Now I am going to read you the names of several public figures and organizations, and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as either very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, just say so . . . Samuel Alito? Very positive 9% 10 Somewhat positive 10% 9 Somewhat negative 6% 8 Very negative 6% 6 Don’t know 51% 46

Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005

NBC/WSJ NBC/WSJ

Neutral 18% 21

52

Ideological Leanings
• Based on what you have heard or read about him, do you think Alito’s views on important issues are in the mainstream or do you think they are too extreme? Mainstream 51% Too extreme 26% No opinion 23%

Nov. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Do you worry that Samuel Alito would make the Supreme Court too conservative, not conservative enough, or don’t you worry about this? Too conservative 25% 21 Not conservative enough 6% 6 Don’t worry 56% 53

Nov. 2005 Dec. 2005 •

Pew Pew

Given what you know, do you think Alito is a more conservative nominee than you’d have liked, less conservative than you’d have liked, or about right? More conservative 29% About right 44% Less conservative 10%

Oct.-Nov. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post

Would you say that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is more conservative than you would like, not conservative enough, or about right? More conservative 26% Not conservative enough 8% About right 39%

Nov.-Dec. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

From what you know about Samuel Alito, would you say he is more of a liberal or a conservative? More liberal 7% More conservative 46% Don’t know 39%

Dec. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • From what you know about Samuel Alito, as a Supreme Court Justice, do you think he would be too liberal, too conservative, or just about right? Too liberal 6% Too conservative 29%

Jan. 2006

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

About right 49%

No opinion 15%

Alito’s Qualifications
• Based on what you have heard so far, do you think that Sam Alito is qualified or not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, or do you not know enough about him to say? Qualified 51% Not qualified 6% Don’t know/Not sure 43%

Nov. 2005

NBC/WSJ

53

Alito and Gender
• As you may know, Alito was nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Does it bother you that President Bush did not nominate a woman to replace O’Connor, or does it not bother you? Yes, bothers you 23% No, does not 75%

Nov. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Does the fact that President Bush did not nominate another woman to serve on the Supreme Court bother you or not bother you? Bothers 25% Does not bother 74%

Nov. 2005

NBC/WSJ

Alito and the Issue of Abortion
• If you were convinced that Alito would vote to overturn the Roe V. Wade decision, would you, personally, want the Senate vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court, or not? Yes, confirm 37% No, not 53%

Nov. 2005 •

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Do you worry that Samuel Alito would go too far in restricting access to abortions, not go far enough, or don’t you worry about this? Go too far 25% Not far enough 12% Don’t worry 47%

Nov. 2005 •

Pew

The Supreme Court legalized abortion 32 years ago in the ruling known as Roe versus Wade. If that case came before the court again, would you want Alito to vote to uphold Roe versus Wade, or vote to overturn it? Uphold 64% Overturn 31%

Oct.-Nov. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post

Alito wrote a legal opinion saying a state can require a woman to notify her husband if she decides to have an abortion. Does knowing this make you more likely to support, more likely to oppose or doesn’t it make much difference in your opinion? Support 27% Oppose 26% No difference 46%

Oct.-Nov. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post

Do you think Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito should or should not publicly state his position on abortion? Yes, should 55% No, should not 35%

Nov.-Dec. 2005 •

Quinnipiac

Do you think United States Senators would be justified, or not justified in voting against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito if he refuses to state his position on abortion? Justified 42% Not justified 47%

Nov. -Dec. 2005

Quinnipiac

54

If you thought that Judge Alito, if confirmed, would vote to make abortions illegal, would you favor or oppose his confirmation? Strongly favor 16% Somewhat favor 15% Somewhat oppose 20% Strongly oppose 49%

Dec. 2005 •

Harris Interactive

Suppose that after his confirmation hearings you were convinced that Samuel Alito would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. If that were the case, would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Alito serving on the Supreme court, or not? Yes, vote in favor 34% No, not 56% No opinion 11%

Jan. 2006

Gallup/CNN/USA Today

ORIGINAL INTENT: The questions below show how the wording of questions can pull people in one direction or another. In April 2010, Quinnipiac asked a national sample whether in making decisions, the Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution (49 percent) or whether in making decisions the Court should consider changing times and current realities (42 percent). A Time question from 2011 shows that 41 percent favored an approach on only what is spelled out and 54 percent wanted to interpret the Constitution based on changes in society.
• Some people say that the Supreme Court should stick as closely as possible to the founding fathers’ interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Other say the Supreme Court should make decisions based on a modern interpretation of what the Constitution means. Which of these positions comes closer to your own? Founding fathers’ interpretation 42% Modern interpretation 55%

Sep. 1987 •

ABC/Wash Post

Which comes closer to your point of view: A) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the constitution or B) In making decisions, the Supreme Court should consider changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the constitution? Authors’ intentions 39% 42 44 43 40 49 Current realities 54% 51 50 48 52 42

Apr. 2003 May 2005 Jul. 2005 Aug. 2007 Jul. 2008 Apr. 2010 •

Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac Quinnipiac

Do you think the next person nominated to join the United States Supreme Court should be someone who tries to follow the original intent of the U.S. Constitution as it was written, or someone who tries to follow an interpretation of what the Constitution means in current times? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat? Original intent strongly 41% Original intent somewhat 18% Interpretation somewhat 24% Interpretation strongly 10%

Jun. 2003

ABC

55

Please tell me which of the following statements comes closer to your point of view. President Bush should appoint a judge to the Supreme Court who will give greater consideration to the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution when making a decision or President Bush should appoint a judge to the Supreme Court who will give greater consideration to changing times and current realities in applying the principles of the Constitution. Authors’ intentions 45% Current realities 47%

Jul. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ

Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court should base its rulings on its understanding of what the U.S. Constitution meant as it was originally written, or should the court base its rulings on its understanding of what the U.S. Constitution means in current times? Originally Current written times Jul. 2005 ABC/Wash Post 46% 50% Which of the following comes closest to your view of how the Constitution should be interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court: Judges should base their rulings on what they believe the Constitution’s framers meant when it was originally written or judges should base their rulings on what they believe the Constitution means in today’s world. Originally written 47% Today’s world 36%

Aug. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • How do you think the Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution? No matter what the outcome, the Court should follow what the Framers meant when they wrote the Constitution, if necessary, the Court should ignore what the Framers meant to reach the outcome it feels appropriate for today. What framers meant 60% What’s appropriate for today 26%

May 2009

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Some people say that the courts should strictly follow the original intent of the Founding Fathers . . . That the federal government should be permitted to do only what’s exactly spelled out in the Constitution or was the intent of the Framers of the Constitution. Others say times have changed and that the Court should interpret the Constitution based upon changes in society, technology, and the U.S. role in the world. Which comes closest to your view if you had to choose – only what’s exactly spelled out in the Constitution or interpretations based on changes in society? Only exactly what’s spelled out Interpret Constitution 41% 54%

Jun. 2011 •

Time

Which comes closest to your view; judges should interpret the laws as narrowly as possible, taking into account only what is clearly the intention of the lawmakers, or judges should interpret laws broadly, taking into account the broader interests of the nation. Narrow interpretation 43% 41 36 Broad interpretation 52% 56 60

Sep. 2009 Aug. 2010 Aug. 2011

AP/Roper AP/Roper AP/Roper

56

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT INDIVIDUAL JUSTICES: Many Americans know little about the individual justices on the Supreme Court. In the questions, substantial proportions say that they “haven’t heard enough” about individual justices to have an opinion or they simply answer “don’t know.” In a May 2005, Quinnipiac poll, for example, 65 percent said they hadn’t heard enough about Antonin Scalia to know whether he would make a good Chief Justice. In June of 1989, after Rehnquist had served on the court for 17 years, only nine percent in a Washington Post poll could identify him as the Chief Justice of the Court. In the same poll, 54 percent knew the name of the judge on television’s People Court (Judge Wapner). Confirmation battles such as that of Clarence Thomas raise awareness for a short time, but as the event recedes, so does familiarity. In Gallup’s question, Thomas’s favorable and unfavorable ratings have gone down since his confirmation. Between July 1 and October 13, 1991 in all 29 questions from major pollsters that asked whether Thomas should be confirmed, support for confirmation outweighed opposition. (These questions are available from the authors.)

William Rehnquist
• Who is the current Chief Justice of the United States: William Rehnquist, Warren Burger, Earl Warren or William Brennan, Jr.? Oct.-Nov. 1986 Hearst Corporation William Rehnquist Warren Burger Earl Warren William Brennan Jr. DK • 43% 29 7 4 16

Please tell me, if you know, who is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court? Rehnquist Wash Post 9% Kaiser/Wash Post/Harvard 6 Wrong/Don’t know 91% 94

Jun. 1989 Nov.-Dec. 1995*

NOTE: *Question wording was, “Can you tell me the name of the current Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?”. • Please tell me, if you know, the name of the judge on the People’s Court television show? Wapner 54% Wrong/Don’t know 46%

Jun. 1989

Wash Post

57

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is William Rehnquist. Can you tell me if he is generally considered a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative? Liberal 11% Moderate 9% Conservative 30% Don’t know 52%

May 1989 •

Pew

We’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person - or if you have never heard of him. How about Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist? Favorable 51% 50 53 46 Unfavorable 8% 15 20 16 Never heard of 18% 19 13 21 No opinion 23% 16 14 17

Jan. 1999 Dec. 2000 Nov. 2004 May 2005 •

Gallup Gallup Gallup/CNN/USA Today Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Do you happen to know the name of _________? And what is that person’s name? Feb. 2004 Hart/C-SPAN

Correct The Vice President of the United States 77% The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 22 The Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate 17 NOTE: Asked of cable viewers. • I’m going to read the names of some people. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. William Rehnquist . . . ? Favorable Unfavorable Can’t say Never heard of Jan. 2005* Fox News 31% 17% 30% 22% Jun. 2005* Fox News 30 16 29 24 Jul. 2005* Fox News 35 16 29 20 NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. • Now I am going to read you the names of several public figures and organizations, and I’d like you to rate your feelings toward each one as either very positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative. If you don’t know the name, please just say so . . . William Rehnquist? Very positive NBC/WSJ 13% NBC/WSJ 7 NBC/WSJ 9 Somewhat positive 15% 17 18 Somewhat negative 5% 8 9 Very negative 2% 5 5 Don’t know 37% 34 33

Jan. 1999 Jan. 2001 Jul. 2005 •

Neutral 28% 29 26

Is your opinion of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough about him? Haven’t heard Favorable Unfavorable Mixed enough May 2005 Quinnipiac 19% 10% 23% 45%

58

Clarence Thomas
• We’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person - or if you have never heard of him. How about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? Favorable 57% 62 44 39 46 44 Unfavorable 30% 26 31 38 33 23 Never heard of 8% 9 6 8 8 17

Oct. 1991* Oct. 1991* May 1992 Jul. 1995 Dec. 2000 May 2005

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

NOTE: *Question wording was, “From what you may have seen, heard or read about the hearings, what is your impression of Clarence Thomas? Is it very favorable, favorable, unfavorable, or very unfavorable?” Results combined. • Is your opinion of the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas favorable, not favorable, undecided or haven’t you heard enough about Clarence Thomas yet to have an opinion? Favorable 26% Unfavorable 10% Haven’t heard enough 42%

Sep. 1991

CBS/NYT

(Demographic breakdowns) Whites Blacks • 27% 20 8% 16 44% 35

Next, we’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person - or if you have never heard of him or her. How about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? Jul. 1995 Gallup Blacks Favorable 36% Unfavorable 45%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each of the following people...Clarence Thomas? Favorable 35% Unfavorable 29%

Oct. 1995

PSRA/Newsweek

(Demographic breakdowns) Whites Blacks 37% 25 28% 46

59

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each of the following people...Clarence Thomas? Oct. 1994 Yankelovich Blacks Favorable 42% Favorable 33% Unfavorable 31% Unfavorable 28%

Oct. 1995

Yankelovich

(Demographic breakdowns) Whites Blacks 33% 33 27% 42

Antonin Scalia
• We’d like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of this person - or if you have never heard of him. How about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia? Favorable 36% 31 Unfavorable 17% 13 Never heard of 29% 39

Dec. 2000 May 2005 •

Gallup Gallup/CNN/USA Today

Thinking about the current members of the Supreme Court, do you think Justice Antonin Scalia would or would not make a good Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or haven’t you heard enough about him? Good chief justice 14% Not good 17% Haven’t heard 65%

May 2005

Quinnipiac

David Souter
• Is your opinion of Supreme Court nominee David Souter favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven’t you heard enough about David Souter yet to have an opinion? Favorable 13% Unfavorable 5% Undecided 13% Haven’t heard 68%

Aug. 1990 •

CBS/NYT

Is your opinion of Supreme Court Justice David Souter favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough about him? Favorable Unfavorable Mixed Haven’t heard Feb. 2003 Quinnipiac 15% 6% 10% 68% As I read the following names, please tell me if your opinion of each person is very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or are you not familiar enough to form an opinion...David Souter? Very favorable 5% Somewhat favorable 22% Somewhat unfavorable 9% Very unfavorable 6% Not familiar 56%

Jul. 2001

Zogby

60

John Roberts
• The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is John Roberts. Is he generally considered a liberal, moderate, or conservative? Liberal 6% 11 14 Conservative 37% 53 47 Moderate 9% 11 19 Don’t know 48% 25 19

Feb. 2007 Dec. 2008 Sep.-Oct. 2011

Pew Pew Pew

Do you happen to know who is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court? Jul. 2010 Pew John Roberts John Paul Stevens Thurgood Marshall Harry Reid Don’t Know 28% 6 8 4 53

Miscellany
• Please tell me if you know the name of one of the other Justices of the Supreme Court (besides the Chief Justice) Jun. 1989 Washington Post Sandra Day O’Connor Anthony Kennedy Antonin Scalia Thurgood Marshall Harry Blackmun William Brennan, Jr. Byron R. White John Paul Stevens Any other name Don’t Know Correct 23% 7 6 5 4 3 3 3 3 7

NOTE: Adds to more than 100% due to multiple responses. • Which one of the current U.S. Supreme Court Justices do you most admire or agree with? Nov. 2004* Fox News Admire 13% 8 6 5 5 1 1 1 1 1 58

Sandra Day O’Connor Clarence Thomas William H. Rehnquist Antonin Scalia Ruth Bader Ginsburg Anthony M. Kennedy Stephen G. Breyer David Souter John Paul Stevens Other names Don’t know any names

61

Jun. 2009 *

Fox News Admire 11% 11 8 5 9 3 1 1 1 1 50

Sandra Day O’Connor Clarence Thomas John Roberts Antonin Scalia Ruth Bader Ginsburg Anthony M. Kennedy Stephen G. Breyer David Souter John Paul Stevens Samuel Alito Other names/Don’t know any names NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. •

Is your opinion of Supreme Court Justice __________favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven’t you heard enough to say? Apr. 2003 Quinnipiac Favorable 35% 30 30 21 19 15 15 12 11 Unfavorable 7% 9 16 9 8 6 6 3 4 Mixed 14% 14 14 11 10 11 10 9 9 Haven’t heard 43% 46 39 58 62 67 68 74 75

Sandra Day O’Connor William Rehnquist Clarence Thomas Ruth Bader Ginsburg Antonin Scalia Anthony Kennedy David Souter John Paul Stevens Stephen Breyer

GENDER, RACE, AND ETHNICITY AND COURT NOMINEES: Only small numbers of people say it is essential for a president to nominate a woman, black, or Hispanic to the high court. However, the polls also suggest that Americans would “welcome” a woman, black or Hispanic on the Court.
• How important do you think it is that George W. Bush nominate a woman to the Supreme Court? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? Very Important 26% Somewhat important 29% Not too important 14% Not at all important 29%

Feb.-Mar. 2003

Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns) Men Women 20% 32 29% 29 16% 12 33% 25

62

How important do you think it is that George W. Bush nominate a black to the Supreme Court? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? Very Important 24% Somewhat important 31% Not too important 15% Not at all important 29%

Feb.-Mar. 2003

Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns) White Black Hispanic • 18% 53 34 31% 28 30 15% 8 16 33% 11 20

How important do you think it is that George W. Bush nominate a Hispanic to the Supreme Court? Very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? Very Important 23% Somewhat important 29% Not too important 16% Not at all important 29%

Feb.-Mar. 2003

Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns) White Black Hispanic • 16% 43 54 30% 32 21 17% 13 11 34% 12 13

As you may know, when Sandra Day O’Connor steps down from the Supreme Court it will leave one woman and one member of a racial minority on the Court. Do you think that President Bush should select nominees for the Supreme Court based only on who he thinks would be the best person for the job, or do you think that he should keep balance and diversity on the Court by nominating a woman or a member of a racial minority? Only select best person 55% Keep balance and diversity 39%

Sep. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ

President Bush has not yet announced his choice for the Supreme Court’s second vacancy. Do you think Bush should take diversity into account and strongly consider naming another woman to serve on the Court? Yes, should 66% No, should not 19%

Sep. 2005 •

PSRA/Newsweek

If you had to choose, and assuming both people were qualified, would you rather the next Supreme Court nominee be a woman or a minority? Women Minority Both the same/neither May 2009 Fox News 35% 13% 47% NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

President Bush has not yet announced his choice for the Supreme Court’s second vacancy. Do you think Bush should take diversity into account and strongly consider naming another black or a Hispanic to serve on the Court? Yes, should 60% No, should not 21%

Sep. 2005

PSRA/Newsweek

63

As you may know, Roberts was nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Does it bother you that President Bush did not nominate a woman to replace O’Connor, or does it not bother you? Yes, bothers 21% No, does not 77%

Jul. 2005 •

Gallup

Bush nominated Roberts to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who is retiring from the court. Are you personally disappointed that Bush did not nominate another woman to replace O’Connor, or not? Yes, disappointed 34% No, not disappointed 65%

Jul. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post

Justice O’Connor was also the first woman on the Supreme Court. Should President Bush nominate another woman to fill this vacancy or does it not matter? President should Does not nominate a woman matter Jul. 2005 Harris 27% 73% Do you think President Bush has an obligation to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with another woman? President should Does not nominate a woman matter Jul. 2005 Fox News 28% 65% NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

How important do you think it is that George W. Bush nominate a woman to the Supreme Court? Very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not important at all? Very important 25% Somewhat important 33% Not very important 17% Not at all important 23%

Jul. 2005 •

CBS/NYT

Which of the following best describes your view about the next Supreme Court justice – you think it is essential that the next justice is a woman, you think having a woman as the next justice would be a good idea, but is not essential, it doesn’t matter to you if the next justice is a woman or not, or you think having a woman as the next justice would be a bad idea? Good idea, but not essential 29% 33 26 Doesn’t matter 55% 50 64 Bad idea 1% 2 3

Sep. 2005 Oct. 2005 May 2009 •

Essential Gallup/CNN/USA Today 14% Gallup/CNN/USA Today 14 Gallup/USA Today 6

Which of the following best describes your view about the next Supreme Court justice – you think it is essential that the next justice is a Hispanic, you think having a Hispanic as the next justice would be a good idea, but is not essential, it doesn’t matter to you if the next justice is a Hispanic or not, or you think having a Hispanic as the next justice would be a bad idea? Good idea, but not essential 23% 21 Doesn’t matter 69% 68 Bad idea 4% 8

Sep. 2005 May 2009

Essential Gallup/CNN/USA Today 3% Gallup/USA Today 1

64

Which of the following best describes your view about the next Supreme Court justice – you think it is essential that the next justice is a Black, do you think having a Black as the next justice would be a good idea, but is not essential, it doesn’t matter to you if the next justice is a Black or not, or you think having a Black as the next justice would be a bad idea? Good idea, but not essential 21% 21 Doesn’t matter 71% 74 Bad idea 2% 3

Sep. 2005 May 2009 •

Essential Gallup/CNN/USA Today 5% Gallup/USA Today 1

Do you think it is acceptable or not acceptable to have a pro-life nominee to the Supreme Court? Acceptable 57% Not acceptable 29%

Sep.-Oct. 2003 •

Winston Group (Rep.)

For each item I name, please tell me whether to you personally it would be a factor in favor of a Supreme Court nominee or not a factor one way or the other. What if the nominee is . . . ? Apr. 2010 ABC/Wash Post A factor in favor of a SC nomine 7% 15 16 4 70

Protestant Woman African American Gay or lesbian Someone with experience as a judge Someone with experience outside the legal profession for example in the field of business or politics

Against 5% 3 3 25 5

No Difference 83% 81 81 71 24

35

26

38

NOTE: Those people who said that someone with experience outside the legal profession would be a factor in favor of a nominee were asked which of two kinds of experience would be preferable. Fifty-six percent said someone with experience in business would be, while 36 percent said someone with experience in politics would be. • Which of the following best describes your view about whether the next Supreme Court justice is ______. Do you think it is essential that the next justice is a ______, is it a good idea, but not essential, does it not matter to you, or do you think it is a bad idea? May 2010 Gallup/USA Today Good idea, not essential 20% 12 13 22

A woman Hispanic Black Protestant*

Essential 4% 1 1 7

Doesn’t matter 72% 76 82 66

Bad idea 3% 9 3 3

NOTE: Question wording was “What best describes your view about whether John Paul Stevens’ replacement on the Supreme Court is Protestant?”

65

I’m going to read you a list of characteristics and affiliations and I’d like you to tell me whether or not you would be comfortable with a Supreme Court Justice who has that characteristic or affiliation. Would you be comfortable with a justice who is . . . ? Apr. 2010* Fox News Yes 65% 62 68 63 62% 54 74 57 43% 50 31 53 39% 46 29 47 57% 53 58 65 31% 47 16 27 No 30% 32 27 33 35% 42 24 43 53% 45 66 44 58% 52 69 49 32% 36 33 23 64% 47 81 67

A Mormon (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents A Christian who takes the Bible literally (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents A Muslim (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents An atheist (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents A libertarian (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents A socialist (Demographic breakdowns) Democrats Republicans Independents NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. •

Should Senators support or oppose John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court based only on whether he is qualified to be a justice, or should they also consider his views on controversial issues like abortion and the death penalty? Qualifications 36% Views on issues 56%

Jul. 2005

Quinnipiac

66

Over the past twenty years, nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to discuss their views on specific issues, such as whether a woman has the constitutional right to be able to have an abortion, during their confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your view about whether a Supreme Court nominee should publicly state his or her position on critical issues before the Court. A nominee should be required to state his or her positions on these issues so that senators have this information to decide whether to confirm this person for life or a nominee should not be required to state his or her positions on these issues as judges should be selected based on their experience and overall qualifications, not their positions on issues that may come before the Court later. ------Supreme Court nominee should state publicly position on issues like abortion----Required Not required NBC/WSJ 43% 53% NBC/WSJ 36 57

Jul. 2005 Sep. 2005 •

Do you agree or disagree that, as president, George W. Bush should be able to choose a nominee who shares his political philosophy to serve on the Supreme Court? Agree 63% Disagree 29%

Jul. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • In general, do you think the current U.S. Supreme Court Justices decide their cases based on legal analysis without regard to their own personal or political views, or do you think they sometimes let their own personal or political views influence their decisions? Legal analysis 13% Personal political views 76%

May-Jun. 2012

CBS/NYT

(Demographic breakdowns) Republicans Democrats Independents 12% 14 12 75% 76 76

LEGAL ANALYSIS OR PERSONAL VIEWS: WHAT RULES/GUIDES THE JUSTICES: We look below at questions asked during Bush v. Gore and during the during the Court’s hearings on health care about what does and what should guide the justices. Most Americans believe Supreme Court Justices’ decisions are not based on strict legal analysis, but are instead at least partially influenced by personal politics and/or ideological preferences. This belief appears to be stronger regarding the 2010 health care law than it was back in 2000, during the Supreme Court’s decision on the Florida presidential vote.

Some people say that the Supreme Court decides many questions largely on the basis of politics. Do you agree or disagree with this? Agree 43% Disagree 36%

Jun. 1946

Gallup

67

When the President choose a Supreme Court nominee, should he only consider that person’s legal qualifications and background, or along with legal background, should the President also consider how that nominee might vote on major issues the Supreme Court decides? Legal qualifications & background 38% How might vote on issues 54%

Sep. 1987 •

CBS/NYT

When a Senate votes on a Supreme Court nominee, should it only consider that person’s legal qualifications and background, or along with legal background, should the Senate also consider how that nominee might vote on major issues the Supreme Court decides? Legal qualifications How might & background vote on issues Sep. 1987 CBS/NYT 39% 52% Sep. 1991 CBS/NYT 39 49 Jul. 2005 CBS/NYT 45 47 Jul.-Aug. 2005 CBS/NYT 46 46 Sep. 2005 CBS 33 58 Sep. 2005 CBS/NYT 36 54 Sep.-Oct. 2005 CBS 35 54 Jan. 2006 CBS 41 49 Jun. 2009 CBS/NYT 30 62 When a President chooses a Supreme Court nominee, should the President only consider that person’s legal qualifications and background, or should the President also consider how that nominee might vote on major issues the Supreme Court decides? Legal qualifications & background 59% How might vote on issues 34%

Feb.-Mar. 2003 •

Quinnipiac

In deciding whether or not to confirm the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court, should the Senate give greater consideration to the nominee’s qualifications as a judge or to the nominee’s views on these issues facing the Court? Qualifications as judge 49% Views on issues 38%

Jul. 2005 •

NBC/WSJ

Both 10%

Do you think a senator who believes Roberts has the right background and qualifications, but who disagrees with his judicial philosophy and legal views, should vote for or against Robert’s nomination? Vote for 53% Vote against 41%

Jul. 2005 •

ABC/Wash Post

Do you think a Supreme Court judge’s personal views should or should not be a factor in his or her decisions on cases before the court? Should 19% 25 Should not 77% 69

Jul. 2005 Jan. 2006

CBS/NYT CBS/NYT

68

Do you think Supreme Court Justices make their decisions based solely on the law, or do you think their political views enter into their decisions? Legal analysis 16% Political views 78%

Apr. 2010

Quinnipiac

(Demographic breakdowns) Republican Democrat Independent Liberal Moderate Conservative •

13% 21 13 17 18 13

82% 72 80 77 78 80

Do you think the US Supreme Court Justices usually decide their cases based on legal analysis without regard to partisan politics, or do you think they sometimes let their own partisan political views influence their decisions? Legal analysis 19% Partisan political views 78%

Aug. 2010 •

AP/NCC/GfK

In general, do you think the current US Supreme Court Justices decide their cases based on legal analysis without regard to their own ideological views, or do you think they sometimes let their own ideological views influence their decisions? Legal analysis 17% Ideological views 75%

Jan. 2012 •

Kaiser

In general, do you think the current US Supreme Court Justices decide their cases based on legal analysis without regard to their own personal or political views, or do you think they sometimes let their own personal or political views influence their decisions? Legal analysis 13% Personal or political views 76%

May-Jun. 2012

CBS/NYT

(Demographic breakdowns) Republican Democrat Independent

12% 14 12

75% 76 76

2010 Health Care Law
• In ruling on the 2010 health care case, do you think the Supreme Court Justices will base their decision on legal analysis without regard to ideology on politics or do you think they will let their own ideological views influence their decision? Legal analysis 28% Own ideological views 59%

Jan. 2012 •

Kaiser

When the Supreme Court rules on the case challenging parts of the 2010 health care law, how big of a role do you think national politics will play in their decision? Major role 50% 49 Minor role 35% 32 No role 10% 14

Feb.-Mar. 2012* Apr. 2012

Kaiser Kaiser

NOTE: *Question asked of a half sample.

69

When the Supreme Court rules on the case challenging parts of the 2010 health care law, how big of a role do you think national politics should play in their decision? Major role 26% Minor role 29% No role 41%

Feb.-Mar. 2012

Kaiser

NOTE: Question asked of a half sample. • Do you think the decisions that the judges on the Supreme Court make in those cases about the new 2010 health care law will be based mostly on their personal political views or will be based mostly on an objective interpretation of the law? Objective interp. 46% Political views 50%

Mar. 2012

CNN/ORC

(Demographic breakdowns) Male Female Republican Independent Democrat Conservative Moderate Liberal •

48% 44 52 42 47 46 47 45

47% 52 45 54 48 50 48 52

Do you think the Supreme Court Justices will rule on the 2010 health care law mainly on the basis of the law or mainly on the basis of their partisan political views? Basis of the law 40% Partisan political views 50%

Apr. 2012 •

ABC/Wash Post

Do you think the Supreme Court Justices will decide the 2010 health care case solely on the legal arguments and the Constitution or do you think politics and partisanship will play a role in their decision? Legal arguments 26% Politics and partisanship 67%

Apr. 2012

Fox News

(Demographic breakdown) Republican Independent Democrat NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. •

32% 26 21

62% 65 72

Do you think the decision reached by the United States Supreme Court on the constitutionality of some parts of the new 2010 health care law will be based mostly on the law, or based mostly on politics? Mostly on the law 32% Mostly on politics 59%

Apr. 2012

NBC/WSJ

70

From what you know of the current United States Supreme Court Justices, how do you think they will rule on the health care law—mainly based on legal analysis or mainly based on their own personal or political views? Legal analysis 32% Personal political views 55%

May-Jun. 2012

CBS/NYT

(Demographic breakdown) Republican Independent Democrat

33% 30 35

48% 57 56

2000 Florida Recount
• Do you think that the five-to-four decision reached by the United States Supreme Court to stop the Florida 2000 presidential election recount is based mostly on the law, or do you think that it is based mostly on politics? Mostly law 34% Mostly politics 53%

Dec. 7-10, 2000 •

NBC/WSJ

As you may know, on Saturday December 9, 2000, the United States Supreme Court stopped a manual recount of votes in Florida in the 2000 presidential election contest. Overall, do you think the Justices on the US Supreme Court are being influenced by their personal political views when deciding this case the 2000 Florida election recount, or don’t you think so? No, not influenced Gallup/CNN/USA Today 42% Yes, influenced 51%

Dec. 10, 2000

(Demographic breakdowns) Republican Independent Democrat •

53% 43 31

42% 51 60

Do you think the Supreme Court’s decision to stop the manual recount of Florida’s 2000 presidential election votes was based more on partisan politics or more on objective interpretation of the law? Objective interp. 54% Partisan politics 37%

Dec. 14-16, 2000 •

CBS

Do you believe the Supreme Court acted in a non-partisan way, that is, not favoring either party, when they ruled in a way that meant ballots would not be counted toward the outcome of the election in Florida, or do you believe that the US Supreme Court ruling showed political favoritism? Non-partisan 51% Favoritism 42%

Dec. 14-16, 2000 •

LA Times

Thinking of the decisions made by the courts concerning the Florida election, do you believe that the decisions made by individual judges in the Supreme Court mainly reflect the political views of the judges or mainly reflect their impartial legal judgments? Impartial judgment 48% Political views 41%

Dec. 14-21, 2000

Harris

71

Overall, do you think the Justices on the US Supreme Court were influenced by their personal political views when deciding this case the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida, or don’t you think so? No, not influenced 46% Yes, influenced 50%

Dec. 15-17, 2000

Gallup/CNN/UST

(Demographic breakdown) Republican Independent Democrat •

65% 46 30

32% 49 65

Do you think politics or partisanship played a major role in their decision, somewhat of a role, or no role at all? Major role 33% Some role 32% No role at all 29%

Dec. 14-15, 2000

PSRA/Newsweek

(Demographic breakdown) Republican Independent Democrat Male Female •

12% 31 55 29 37

36% 34 29 33 31

45% 30 11 34 24

Do you think the Justices of the US Supreme Court who voted to end the recount in Florida did so—mostly based on the legal merits of the case or mostly based on their own desire to have Bush as the next president? Legal merits/law Gallup/CNN/USA Today 54% ABC/Wash Post 60 Help Bush 35% 35

Dec. 13, 2000 Dec. 14, 2000*

NOTE: *Question wording was “Do you think the majority in the US Supreme Court that ruled in Bush’s favor did so mainly on the law and evidence in the case, or mainly because it wanted to help Bush become president?” • What about the minority in the US Supreme Court that ruled in Gore’s favor—do you think it did so mainly on the law and evidence in the case, or mainly because it wanted to help Gore become president? Law and evidence 60% Help Gore 29%

Dec. 14-15, 2000

ABC/Wash Post

(Demographic breakdown) Republican Independent Democrat

53% 66 61

36% 26 27

72

TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT: Gallup asks a question about trust and confidence in the judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court.

Let me ask you how much trust and confidence you have at this time in the Executive branch, headed by the President...a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, none at all? ------------------Trust & Confidence in Executive Branch--------------------Great Fair Not very None deal amount much at all 24% 49% 20% 4% 12 28 36 20 13 45 30 9 13 49 27 9 24 39 23 12 21 43 24 11 18 47 23 11 21 42 28 8 28 44 20 7 25 35 26 14 31 27 25 16 19 33 30 18 15 31 28 24 15 28 32 24 12 30 30 28 26 35 22 16 20 29 27 24 17 30 29 23

May 1972 Apr. 1974 Jun. 1976 May 1997 Dec. 1998 Feb. 1999 Jul. 2000 Sep. 2001 Sep. 2002 Sep. 2003 Sep. 2004 Sep. 2005 Sep. 2006 Sep. 2007 Sep. 2008 Aug.-Sep. 2009 Sep. 2010 Sep. 2011 •

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

Let me ask you how much trust and confidence you have at this time in the Judicial branch, headed by the U.S. Supreme Court...a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, none at all? ------------------Trust & confidence in judicial branch--------------------Great Fair Not Very None deal amount much at all 17% 49% 24% 7% 17 54 20 5 16 47 26 6 19 52 22 5 27 51 16 4 29 51 13 5 23 52 18 5 17 57 20 4 17 58 18 5 13 54 27 5 14 51 27 6 13 55 25 6 15 54 21 7 14 54 23 6 14 55 23 6 18 58 18 4 14 52 28 5 12 51 28 8

May 1972 Apr. 1974 Jun. 1976 May 1997 Dec. 1998 Feb. 1999 Jul. 2000 Sep. 2001 Sep. 2002 Sep. 2003 Sep. 2004 Sep. 2005 Sep. 2006 Sep. 2007 Sep. 2008 Aug.-Sep.2009 Sep. 2010 Sep. 2011

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

73

Let me ask you how much trust and confidence you have at this time in the Legislative branch, consisting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives...a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, none at all? ------------------Trust & confidence in the legislative branch--------------------Great Fair Not very None deal amount much at all 13% 58% 22% 3% 13 55 24 4 9 52 31 6 6 48 36 8 13 48 30 7 9 49 34 7 11 57 24 7 7 58 28 6 9 58 26 6 8 55 31 5 7 53 33 6 8 54 31 6 15 31 28 24 5 45 36 12 4 43 38 12 6 39 38 17 5 31 42 21 5 26 50 19

May 1972 Apr. 1974 Jun. 1976 May 1997 Dec. 1998 Feb. 1999 Jul. 2000 Sep. 2001 Sep. 2002 Sep. 2003 Sep. 2004 Sep. 2005 Sep. 2006 Sep. 2007 Sep. 2008 Sep. 2009 Sep. 2010 Sep. 2011 •

Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup Gallup

Of the three branches of the United States government, which one do you trust the most....the U.S. Congress, the legislative branch, the President, the executive branch, the Supreme Court, the judicial branch? Legislative branch 20% Executive branch 22% Judicial branch 33%

Jun. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters. • Do you think elected officials should have more control over federal judges and the decisions they make in court cases, or don’t you think so? More control 30% Don’t think so 6%

Oct. 2006

CNN/ORC

Life Tenure, Mandatory Retirement
• Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court are given lifetime appointments, which means it is completely up to the individual justice when he or she retires. Do you think justices should continue to be allowed to serve as long as they want, or should there be a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices? Serve as long as they want 28% 30 Should be a mandatory retirement age 66% 65

Jul. 2005 Apr. 2010

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

74

Which opinion comes closer to your own—appointing Supreme Court Justices for life is a good thing because it helps keep them independent from political pressures, or appointing Supreme Court Justices for life is a bad thing because it gives them too much power? Good thing 33% Bad thing 60%

May-Jun. 2012

CBS/NYT

(Demographic breakdowns) Republicans Democrats Independents • 29% 35 34 62% 57 61

How do you feel about the likely retirement of one or more Supreme Court justices – do you welcome changes or are you uneasy about changes to the Supreme Court? Welcome 58% Uneasy 28%

Jun. 2005

Fox News

NOTE: Question asked of registered voters.

Television Coverage
• Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea to allow television coverage of sessions of the U.S. Supreme court? Good idea 70% 63 Bad idea 18% 25

Apr. 2006* Sep. 2006#

Fox News Fox News

NOTE: *Question asked of registered voters. #Question asked of likely voters. • Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court should or should not allow television cameras into their courtroom when they hear arguments in their cases? Should allow 61% Should not allow 35%

Mar. 2012

CNN/USA Today

75

Many pollsters in the United States regularly supply us with their data. This report could not have been done without their assistance, and we thank them for it. The data in this report come from the archive of public opinion polls at the American Enterprise Institute and from The Roper Center’s archive at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. The Roper Center is the oldest and largest archive of public opinion data in the world. To learn more about the Roper Center, visit http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/.

For comments or questions contact Karlyn Bowman at kbowman@aei.org or Andrew Rugg Andrew.Rugg@aei.org Compiled by Karlyn Bowman (Senior Fellow) Andrew Rugg (Research Assistant) Special thanks to interns Allan Liu, Wylie Galvin, and Clement Bilhorn.

Also from AEI’s Political Corner: Political Report!
The American Enterprise Institute’s Political Report is a monthly publication that examines current trends in public opinion and political developments. This easy-toread report summarizes surveys from major pollsters on topics of current interest. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, sing up online at http://newsletters.aei.org/aei_registration/Politics_and_Public_Opinion.html You may view Political Report at the AEI website as well: http://www.aei.org/search/Political+Report

76

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