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(01/09/06) -

Alito’s Confirmation Splits Views in U.S.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Americans adults are divided over whether Samuel Alito should join the Supreme Court, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. 34 per cent of respondents think the Senate should confirm Alito, while 31 per cent disagree.

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Americans adults are divided over whether Samuel Alito should join the Supreme Court, according to a poll by Harris Interactive. 34 per cent of respondents think the Senate should confirm Alito, while 31 per cent disagree.

In October 2005, 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.

Alito’s confirmation hearings begin today. Yesterday, Republican Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter—the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman—issued a statement that read, “There is a heavy sense of drama as these hearings begin. (…) This hearing will give Judge Alito a full opportunity to address the issues of concern.”

Polling Data

President George W. Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Do you believe he should be confirmed by the Senate?

Should be confirmed

34%

Should not be confirmed

31%

Not sure

34%

Source: Harris Interactive
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,961 American adults, conducted from Dec. 8 to Dec. 14, 2005. Margin of error is 2 per cent.