Poll shows Americans focused on religious liberty, abortion, gun controlPublished: 3 hours ago
When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died last month, it became immediately clear that President Obama could shift the court’s ideological balance leftward on issues such as religious liberty, abortion, gun control and immigration.
With Obama indicating he will present a nominee to the Senate in his final year in office and the Republican-led Senate vowing not to act until a new president is sworn in, a new poll shows that voters recognize the significance of the vacancy to the nation’s future.
The survey released Thursday by the Family Research Council found that 64 percent of likely voters say the Supreme Court vacancy will be “an important factor in determining who you vote for in November’s elections.”
Among Republicans, the figure is 71 percent.
“Justice Scalia’s replacement may very well be the deciding vote on major cases involving religious liberty, state abortion laws, gun control, and immigration. With so much at stake, the American people should be allowed to decide in November who picks the next Supreme Court justice,” said Tony Perkins, the FRC president.
Perkins said the survey “tells us that the American people have a sobering perspective following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.”
“Reality is sinking in for voters in both parties that the next president will likely appoint two or three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will impact our nation for decades to come,” he said.
Perkins noted that, by an eight-point margin, Republican voters are more concerned than Democrats about the future of the Supreme Court.
‘I believe this is in part due to previous Republican presidents who have either been unable to identify liberal jurists in conservative clothing or have been unwilling to fight for nominees who were true constitutionalists,” he said.
The survey also shows that frequent churchgoers are even more concerned than non-churchgoers about the direction of the court.
“This higher level of concern is no doubt due to the Supreme Court preempting social consensus by imposing its abortion and marriage views on all 50 states,” Perkins commented.
“While the country is divided over whether the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled now or after the November elections, it’s clear that the court is a greater motivating factor for Republican voters and frequent churchgoers than it is for Democrats and those who attend worship services less frequently,” he said.
The poll found 51 percent of adults believe the Supreme Court issue is important or very important to them. Among likely voters, 64 percent were in agreement.
The poll, conducted by WPA Opinion Research, solicited answers from Americans by phone during the Feb. 18-21 period. It carries a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
Pundits have speculated Obama would nominate a Republican to make it hard for the GOP majority in the Senate to put off a vote until a new president is elected.
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Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said shortly after Scalia’s Feb. 13 death that failure by Republicans in the Senate to block Obama’s nominees would result in a tsunami of new support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is opposed by the GOP establishment.
Obama supporters, who during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns made use of social media to raise money and boost support for their candidate, were already weighing in on the Supreme Court vacancy.
The Why Courts Matter Iowa coalition has sent thousands of signatures and copies of portions of the U.S. Constitution to the offices of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, to fulfill what they believe is his duty to give an nominee a hearing.
The Senate’s role regarding a Supreme Court nominee to “advise and consent,” according to Article Two, Section Two of the Constitution.
Grassley, in a post on the Supreme Court’s blog, said he was going to hold up nominations from Obama, given the president’s lame-duck status.
“The American people deserve the opportunity during this election year to weigh in on whether the next justice should apply the text and original meaning of the Constitution [as Antonin Scalia did] or, alternatively, his or her own life experiences to changing times to advance his or her own sense of what would be ‘just decisions and fair outcomes,'” Grassley wrote. “Senate Republicans will ensure the American people are not denied this unique and historic opportunity.”
But Obama supporters and others on the left want the Senate to act in a time frame favorable to Obama.
The Iowa group, in a Facebook post, wrote: “Join us to tell Senator Grassley – do your job! We will deliver more than 6,000 signatures and copies of Article Two, Section Two of the U.S. Constitution to Senator [Grassley’s] regional offices. Thousands have signed the petition to tell Senator Grassley to do his job. Now we will deliver [these] copies … to remind him of his job.”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/03/voters-scalia-vacancy-a-big-deal-in-election/#DFwFX6wsqtbRvurl.99