If President Obama thought America would overwhelmingly support his decision to nominate a new Supreme Court justice after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last weekend, he was sadly mistaken.
Two major polls came out in the last 24 hours that indicate Americans are pretty well divided on the issue.
A CBS News poll released Thursday morning indicates that 47 percent of the respondents would like to see Obama appoint Scalia’s replacement before the end of his term, while 46 percent want the next president to make the appointment.
As one may expect, opinions of respondents fell along party lines. CBS News reported:
Views are highly partisan: 82 percent of Republicans would like to see the next president appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement, while 77 percent of Democrats want President Obama to make that appointment.
Approval of the Supreme Court has ticked up a few points since last year, and is now at its highest level since the question was first asked in 2012. Forty-nine percent approve, 37 percent disapprove.
Democrats are more apt to approve of the job the Court is doing than Republicans, although not by much.
The CBS News poll supports one released Wednesday evening by The Wall Street Journal, which indicated that 43 percent of those polled would like to see Obama appoint a new justice, to 42 percent who said wait.
“Americans are just as divided as politicians over whether the Senate should consider President Barack Obama’s forthcoming nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia,” the Journal reported.
The White House was prepared to fight public opinion. At a press conference on Wednesday, press secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama “regrets” his 2006 decision to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito, but that was “different,” of course.
Armed with “facts” geared selectively in favor of liberals, an email was blasted out to Americans from the White House on Thursday:
FACT: Six Justices have been confirmed in a presidential election year since 1900.
FACT: Every nominee has received a vote within 125 days of nomination.
FACT: It will be harmful and create unsustainable uncertainty if Congress fails to act on the President’s nominee.
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