Marquette poll: Half of voters rate choice of next Supreme Court justice ‘very important’

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WKBT) — The Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sept. 18 has immediately put a nomination to the Court at the center of political debate.

A Marquette Law School Poll, conducted nationwide Sept. 8-15, finds that before Justice Ginsburg’s death, 48% of respondents said the choice of the next justice was very important to them, with 34% saying it was somewhat important and 17% saying it was not too important or not at all important.

While the debate over the nomination is likely to increase the salience of the Court and any new appointment, the survey provides some perspective on the somewhat limited attention voters generally pay to the Court.

More than one in four respondents, 28%, say that a majority of the justices were definitely or probably appointed by Democratic presidents, while 72% say that a majority were definitely or probably appointed by Republican presidents. Prior to Ginsburg’s death, five of the nine justices had been appointed by Republican presidents.

Among those who say that the next appointment is very important to them, 21 percent think a majority were definitely or probably appointed by Democratic presidents while 78% think Republican presidents appointed the majority.

Perception of the majority also varies by party. Over a third of Republicans believe that a majority of the Court were appointed by Democrats, as do one in five Democrats and more than a quarter of independents.