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supreme_court
(11/11/06) -

Americans Want President to Respect Supreme Court

- Many adults in the United States think their head of state should comply with the rulings of the country’s foremost court, according to a poll by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University. 87 per cent of respondents believe the president should abide by decisions of the Supreme Court always or most of the time.

- Many adults in the United States think their head of state should comply with the rulings of the country’s foremost court, according to a poll by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University. 87 per cent of respondents believe the president should abide by decisions of the Supreme Court always or most of the time.

In the U.S., Supreme Court justices are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. In September 2005, John Roberts was sworn in as the new chief justice. Roberts—who served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit—was ratified in a 78-22 upper house vote. The 50-year-old Roberts became the youngest chief justice in two centuries.

In October 2005, Bush nominated U.S. Court of Appeals judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Bush had originally selected Harriet Miers to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O’Connor, but she withdrew her nomination. Alito was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 31. 60 per cent of respondents say their respect for the Supreme Court has not changed in recent years.

U.S. president George W. Bush signed a federal restriction on partial birth late term abortions in November 2003, but the law—which seeks to ban a type of procedure in which a fetus is partially delivered—has been challenged in six federal courts.

On Nov. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the matter. U.S. solicitor general Paul Clement argued that partial birth late term abortions are “something that is far too close to infanticide for society to tolerate.” Priscilla Smith of the Center for Reproductive Rights said the procedure protects women from risks such as “uterine punctures and infertility.”

Polling Data

Would you say the president ought to abide by decisions of the Supreme Court always, most of the time, sometimes or never?

Always

43%

Most of the time

44%

Sometimes / Never

5%

Don’t know

5%

Other

3%

Would you say your respect for the Supreme Court has increased, decreased or remained about the same in recent years?

Increased

10%

Decreased

26%

Remained same

60%

Don’t know

3%

Other

1%

Source: Scripps Howard News Service / Ohio University
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,031 American adults, conducted from Oct. 7 to Oct. 24, 2006. Margin of error is 4 per cent.