Poll: Supreme Court Pick Matters

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor 2005/2/14
AP
Just two weeks after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announcement that she will resign from the Supreme Court, most Americans (and most women) think it is important that President Bush nominate another woman to replace her. But overall, more than half lack confidence that President George W. Bush will nominate good Supreme Court justices.

Americans are divided on just what the Senate should pay attention to in the confirmation process, with about as many saying they'd like the Senate to focus on the nominee's issue positions, as saying the Senate should focus only on the nominee's legal background.

THE NEXT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE

Nearly six in ten Americans think it is important to name another woman to replace O'Connor, while 40 percent think that is not important.

IMPORTANCE OF NAMING WOMAN TO REPLACE O'CONNOR

Very Important
All
25%
Men
13%
Women
36%

Somewhat important
All
33%
Men
37%
Women
30%

Not very important
All
17%
Men
16%
Women
18%

Not at all important
All
23%
Men
32%
Women
14%

Women are more likely than men to say it is very important to them that a woman replaces O'Connor; 36 percent of women feel this way, compared to just 13 percent of men. Democrats are also more likely than Republicans to think nominating a woman is very important.

Americans are split on whether the Senate should examine a nominee's positions on specific issues. 45 percent think the Senate should consider only the nominee's legal qualifications and background, while 47 percent think the Senate should also consider how the nominee might vote on major issues the Supreme Court decides.