Two-Thirds Of Americans Want Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed To Supreme Court, Poll Finds
A broad majority of Americans say they would vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court if they were senators, a new Marquette Law School poll finds, as Jackson appears poised to be appointed to the court in the coming weeks with bipartisan support.
The poll found 66% of respondents say they would confirm Jackson if in the Senate, while 34% would oppose her.
Nearly all Democratic respondents (95%) would support her, along with 67% of Independents, while only 29% of Republicans favored her confirmation.
A combined 88% of respondents said Jackson is very or somewhat qualified to serve on the Supreme Court based on what they know about her and her experience, while only 12% say she’s not qualified.
That even includes most Republicans, as only 24% of GOP respondents said they believed she’s not qualified for the job.
Most respondents (44%) have a favorable view of Jackson and only 18% have an unfavorable one, though 38% said they didn’t know either way.
The poll was conducted among 1,004 U.S. adults from March 14-24, with most interviews occurring before Jackson’s confirmation hearings March 21-24 (respondents surveyed after the hearings started were slightly more likely to back her, Marquette notes).
What To Watch For
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Jackson’s confirmation Monday with a Senate vote likely to take place soon after—likely before the Senate adjourns for its Easter recess, which starts April 11. Jackson only needs a simple majority of Senate votes to be confirmed, which she’s expected to get.
The poll asked respondents in two different ways about whether they supported Jackson, describing her to some as “nominated to be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court” and to others as “nominated to replace [Breyer] on the Supreme Court.” Marquette found there wasn’t a statistically significant difference in how people responded, given the sample size, with 69% backing her confirmation when race and gender was mentioned and 62% when Breyer was.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) became the first Republican to support Jackson’s confirmation Wednesday, saying she believed backing a Supreme Court nominee should be based on their “experience, qualifications and integrity” and not ideology or whether the senator will agree with how they rule. The poll found Americans largely agree with her: A 59% majority said senators are “not justified” to oppose a nominee based on how they’ll decide cases on divisive issues like abortion and gun control, as long as they’re “qualified and [have] no ethical problems.” An even higher share, 82%, said senators aren’t justified in opposing a potential justice just because they’re nominated by a president of a different party.
While most respondents back Jackson’s confirmation, they don’t necessarily think she’ll have a huge impact on how the court rules. A 45% plurality said her confirmation “would not change [the court] much,” though 33% think it will make it somewhat more liberal. Jackson is replacing liberal-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of this term and will not change the court’s 6-3 conservative tilt, though the 51-year-old judge’s confirmation will ensure the seat will be held by a liberal-leaning justice for likely decades to come.
Jackson now serves as a federal appeals judge on the D.C. Circuit Court, and previously served as a federal district judge, public defender and on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The Marquette poll is one of a number of polls to show Americans are largely in favor of Jackson’s confirmation—though its 66% figure is even higher than others have been—and a recent Gallup poll found public support for Jackson (at 58%) was higher than for any other recent Supreme Court justice’s confirmation except Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005. Recent Morning Consult/Politico polls taken both before and after Jackson’s confirmation hearings found the hearings largely didn’t improve Americans’ support for Jackson, which remained steady at 47%. The share of voters disapproving of her went up—largely driven by Republicans, after GOP senators attacked her record on child pornography offenders during the hearings—but respondents still backed her confirmation by a nearly two-to-one margin (with only 26% opposing it).
New Marquette Law School Poll National Survey Finds Two-thirds of Public Support Confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson As A Supreme Court Justice (Marquette Law School)
Susan Collins Will Vote For Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson—First Republican To Say So (Forbes)
Ketanji Brown Jackson Hearings: ‘No Evidence’ Supporting GOP Criticism Of Supreme Court Nominee, Bar Association Says (Forbes)
Ketanji Brown Jackson Hearings: Lindsey Graham Tells Supreme Court Nominee ‘You’re Doing It Wrong’ (Forbes)
Americans Support Jackson’s Supreme Court Nomination 2-To-1, Study Finds (Forbes)