Merrick Garland confirmation hearings are what Americans want. Not only do Americans want hearings for Garland, but a new poll states that Americans then want the Senate to approve him as well. A report from CNN conveys the new polling numbers, with an overwhelming majority of Americans voting that the Senate should immediately hold hearings to confirm Garland as the next Supreme Court judge.
The politics surrounding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland and what should take place has drawn the attention of American voters on both sides of the aisle. It’s not just a one-sided vote, either, as a clear majority feels that the Senate needs to get the confirmation hearing started. This is despite a recent press conference by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, where he stated that there would be no Supreme Court hearings while President Obama is in office. The hard-line stance has been followed by many current Republican senators.
As for the percentage of American voters who want to see Merrick Garland confirmation hearings take place soon, that number stands at 64 percent in this latest poll. That leaves only 31 percent of the participants in the poll stating that they do not believe the Senate should give Garland those hearings. Five percent of responders didn’t have an opinion on the question. Before President Obama named Garland as his Supreme Court justice nominee, 66 percent of voters felt that there should be hearings, while 32 percent were against them.
The poll goes one step further than that, as it specifically asks, “Would you like to see the Senate vote in favor of Garland serving on the Supreme Court, or not?” Fifty-two percent voted in favor of Garland, 33 percent voted not in favor of him, and 15 percent stated that they have no opinion on the situation. Comparing Merrick Garland to prior nominees for the Supreme Court, 54 percent of Americans supported Elana Kagan and 51 percent of Americans supported Sonia Sotomayor after they were nominated by President Obama. Kagan had 34 percent voting against him, while Sotomayor had 30 percent viewing her negatively.
It is not surprising that the poll results are also skewed along party lines. Eighty percent of Democrats polled feel that Garland should be approved, while only 26 percent of Republicans are in support of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Looking further into those numbers, 48 percent of independent voters support him, 37 percent of independent voters don’t approve of Garland, and 54 percent of Republicans are against him. The politics of the situation become even more obvious when examining the impression of just Garland.
One of the big questions, in addition to whether there should be Merrick Garland confirmation hearings, is whether voters feel he is qualified to become a Supreme Court judge. Seventy-one percent of responders stated that he is either qualified or the most qualified person for the job. Only 13 percent stated that he is not qualified, and 16 percent of voters stated that they had no opinion. It is clear that most voters feel he is well qualified for the job. Taking that one step further, 58 percent of voters feel that if Garland goes through the hearings and “is qualified and has no ethical problems,” the Senate would be unjustified in not voting him in.
One additional question of interest in this poll is where Americans were asked who should be making the nomination for the new Supreme Court judge. Fifty-seven percent of Americans feel it should be President Obama, 40 percent state it should be the next president, and 1 percent even stated that it depends on who gets elected. It has become very clear that Americans want, at the very least, Merrick Garland confirmation hearings to take place. Will these new polling numbers cause the Senate to budge on blocking Supreme Court hearings until 2017?
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