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supreme_court
(01/10/06) -

High Support for Alito’s Confirmation in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many American adults would like Samuel Alito to become a member of the Supreme Court, according to a poll by TNS released by the Washington Post and ABC News. 53 per cent of respondents believe the upper house should confirm Alito’s nomination.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many American adults would like Samuel Alito to become a member of the Supreme Court, according to a poll by TNS released by the Washington Post and ABC News. 53 per cent of respondents believe the upper house should confirm Alito’s nomination.

In October, U.S. president George W. Bush nominated U.S. Court of Appeals judge Alito to the Supreme Court. Bush had originally selected Harriet Miers to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but she withdrew her nomination.

In the U.S., Supreme Court justices are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. A vote for Alito’s nomination has been tentatively scheduled for Jan. 20.

Last month, a legal memorandum showed that Alito apparently favours overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling. In 1992, Day O’Connor voted against rescinding the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Alito has said the document reflects his role as a lawyer, and not the way he would vote on specific issues if and when he joins the Supreme Court. 38 per cent of respondents believe Alito would leave current abortion law as it is, 26 per cent think he would keep abortion but with greater restrictions, and 18 per cent say he would overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.

Yesterday, Alito’s confirmation hearings began in Washington. In his opening statement, the nominee declared, “The role of a practicing attorney is to achieve a desirable result for the client in the particular case at hand. But a judge can’t think that way. A judge can’t have any agenda, a judge can’t have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge certainly doesn’t have a client. The judge’s only obligation—and it’s a solemn obligation—is to the rule of law. And what that means is that in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires.”

Polling Data

As you may know, U.S. president George W. Bush has nominated federal judge Samuel A. Alito to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you think the U.S. Senate should or should not confirm Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court?

 

Jan. 2006

Dec. 2005

Nov. 2005

Should

53%

54%

49%

Should not

27%

28%

29%

No opinion

20%

18%

22%

The Supreme Court legalized abortion 33 years ago in the ruling known as Roe versus Wade. Do you think that if Alito is confirmed to the court, he would vote to overturn Roe versus Wade entirely; vote to keep abortion legal but with greater restrictions; or vote to leave current abortion law as it is?

Vote to overturn Roe versus Wade entirely

18%

Vote to keep abortion legal but with greater restrictions

26%

Vote to leave current abortion law as it is

38%

No opinion

18%

Source: TNS / Washington Post / ABC News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,001 American adults, conducted from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.