Harris Poll Tackles SCOTUS Nominees

September 23, 2010 -

A new Harris Poll finds that a majority of Americans believe the Supreme Court is a necessary branch of the government. Why Harris Poll asked such a silly question, I do not know. The poll also found that two in five Americans (42 percent) said they are not knowledgeable about the Supreme Court confirmation process. Almost three in five (58 percent) Americans said that they are knowledgeable about the process, with 14 percent saying they are very knowledgeable and 44 percent saying they are somewhat knowledgeable. Americans 65 and older (74 percent) and men (71 percent) were more likely to say they were knowledgeable on the subject compared to younger Americans (18-33) and women (both 46 percent).

Delving a little bit deeper into what Americans expect from a Supreme Court Justice nominee, the poll found that a majority of Americans agree that nominees should be required to answer questions on specific issues (81 percent) and how they might rule on specific court cases - both past cases and hypothetical ones (63 percent), while over half said they should answer questions about their personal life (54 percent). Four in five (84 percent) of Americans aged 46-64 and 65 and older agree that nominees should be required to answer questions about their views on specific issues, compared to three-quarters of those aged 18-33 who say the same (76 percent). Older Americans are also more likely to agree that nominees should be required to answer questions about their personal life (58 percent of those 46-64, and 68 percent of those 65 and older), compared to less than half of younger Americans (4 percent of those 18-33 and 48 percent of those 34-45), who say the same.

By political affiliation, over three-quarters of Republicans (76 percent) say nominees should be required to say how they would vote in specific court cases, compared to 54 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Independents who say the same. About 71 percent of Republicans think nominees should be required to answer questions about their personal life, compared to less than half of Democrats (49 percent) and Independents (49 percent) who think it's important.

When asked what type of person Americans would most like to see on the Supreme Court, half (51 percent) said someone who keeps their personal opinions of "right" and "wrong" to themselves and makes decisions strictly based on the letter of the law and the Constitution. One-third of Americans say they want an independent thinker who “uses creativity and an understanding of modern circumstances” to make legal rulings (32 percent); just 6 percent say they would want someone who uses their own values or moral compass to guide their decisions; and one in ten are not at all sure what type of person they prefer (11 percent).

By political party, a majority of Republicans (67 percent) prefer justices who make decisions based strictly on the letter of the law and the Constitution. Democrats are split — 45 percent say they want an independent thinker, while 38 percent say they prefer someone who makes decisions based strictly on the letter of the law.

The most interesting part of the poll - which should give Americans some inspiration - is the fact that a majority of Americans (69 percent) believe the Supreme Court is crucial to the continued success of the United States. Republicans (71 percent), Democrats (74 percent), and Independents (70 percent) all agree on this point. Interestingly, women show more uncertainty on this, as 65 percent say that the Supreme Court is a crucial governing body, compared to three-quarters of men (75 percent) who say the same. Just one in ten (10 percent) women say that the Supreme Court is not necessary—decision making power should lay within the state courts, and over one-quarter of women are not at all sure (26 percent).

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,775 adults online between August 9 and 16, 2010. It was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Source: Harris Poll

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Re: Harris Poll Tackles SCOTUS Nominees

When asked what religion they think Barak Obama practices, 75% of Americans responded "Muslim." When asked if they think he was born in Africa, 99% responded "Yes." When asked if they think he's too well-spoken to really be African-American, 5% responded "Yes."

Source: JDKJ Poll   

Re: Harris Poll Tackles SCOTUS Nominees

 
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Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
E. Zachary KnightI read that comment now and frankly, I think that guy is reading too much into this. The press talk to each other. It happens. There is nothing that can be done to stop it from happening.09/19/2014 - 11:49pm
KronoUnfortunately it seems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.09/19/2014 - 11:45pm
Krono@EZK No that's not the comment. As for wanting nothing do with any of it, that's perfectly understandable.09/19/2014 - 11:44pm
 

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