Poll: Interest In Roberts Up

Judge John G. Roberts testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to become the Chief Justice of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005. AP

As John Roberts faces the Senate Judiciary Committee in hearings on his nomination to Chief Justice of the United States, more Americans are following his nomination than were just a couple of weeks ago. Fifty-four percent of Americans now say they are following his appointment closely, up from 44 percent two weeks ago.

FOLLOWING ROBERTS NOMINATION?

Now
Very closely
16%
Somewhat closely
38%
Not very/not at all closely
45%

Two weeks ago
Very closely
12%
Somewhat closely
32%
Not very/not at all closely
55%

Americans do think that the elevation of Roberts' nomination from Associate Justice to Chief Justice means the Senate will need to conduct an even more thorough investigation of him during the hearings. Fifty-three percent think that since Roberts' nomination has now been elevated to Chief Justice, the Senate needs to scrutinize him more closely than they would have if he were still under consideration as an Associate Justice. Thirty-two percent think he does not deserve more scrutiny.

SHOULD SENATE SCRUTINIZE ROBERTS MORE CLOSELY FOR CHIEF JUSTICE?

Yes
53%
No
32%

Views on this question are influenced by partisanship. Sixty-three percent of Democrats think he now deserves closer scrutiny, compared to only 39 percent of Republicans.

Nearly half think it is very important that the Senate know Roberts' position on issues such as abortion and affirmative action before they vote on his confirmation as Chief Justice. Another 31 percent think that is somewhat important. Those views are unchanged from two weeks ago.

IMPORTANT SENATE KNOWS ROBERTS' VIEWS ON ISSUES

Very
46%
Somewhat
31%
Not very/not at all
22%

Twenty-one percent think that Roberts' nomination to Chief Justice instead of Associate Justice makes it more important for him to answer questions about how he would vote on specific issues, and another 65 percent think that it is just as important as it was when he was nominated to Associate Justice.

IMPORTANCE OF ROBERTS' POSITIONS ON ISSUES NOW

More important
21%
Less Important
8%
About as important
65%

When asked whether the Senate ought to confirm Roberts right now, most Americans can't offer an opinion. Twenty-six percent think he should be confirmed.

SHOULD ROBERTS BE CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE AS CHIEF JUSTICE?

Yes
26%
No
8%
Can't say
63%
  • Sean Alfano

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now