Most Americans, regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat, believe the Senate should move forward with confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court Justice this year, a new poll says.
The Marquette University Law School poll found 67% of respondents believed confirmation should proceed in 2020 while just 32% said the chamber should hold off.
The survey was conducted between Sept. 8 to Sept. 15 — just days before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from cancer Friday evening.
The poll did not suggest a strong partisan divide over the issue, with 68% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats holding that a nomination vote should take place. Independents supported going forward by a 71% margin.
The study is similar to 2016 surveys which found large majorities of Americans also wanted to see the Senate take up the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to replace the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in Feb. 2016.
That nomination was bottled up by the same GOP-controlled Senate. At the time Republicans insisted it would be improper to hold a confirmation vote in an election year and vowed to abide by the standard if the shoe was ever on the other foot.
Among elected officials, the current imbroglio has scrambled past partisan positions.
On Friday — just hours after Ginsburg’s death — Democratic Party leaders threw down the gauntlet, saying the chamber should not move to consider any nominee until after the 2020 election.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said — a word for word restatement of Republican Sen. McConnell’s position on Garland four years ago.
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have signaled their intention to fill Ginsburg’s seat swiftly.
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