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« Social Security Reform Thursday: Week Twenty-Three. | WILLisms.com | Supreme Court Nominations: The Next Generation. »

Rehnquist Retirement Rumors.


I fan the rumor flames about Rehnquist's retirement over at a guest post at Wizbang, if you are interested in that whole Supreme Court thing.

David Hill (via PoliPundit) adds this bit of sad but unsurprising bit of news about American political/judicial knowledge:

...nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t name a single current U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Departing O’Connor was the best-known justice, named by 25 percent of Americans. Close behind her was Clarence Thomas, mentioned by 21 percent. No other justice was mentioned by more than 10 percent of the public.

Liberal Democrats will rant and rave that Bush plans to appoint “another Scalia,” but how threatening will that be when just 9 percent of American adults recalled Antonin Scalia’s name as a justice? And when Americans are so unfamiliar with the current court, what justifies popular involvement in the selection of a new justice?

Another poll, conducted in mid-May for AP-Ipsos, appears to redeem the public, however. This poll asked 1,028 adults nationwide whether judges base their decisions mostly on interpretations of the law or mostly on their personal beliefs and political opinions. Although a slim majority of 51 percent said the law prevails, a strong 43 percent said judges let their own views prevail. This sizable minority shouldn’t object to Bush’s trying to appoint a justice whose views are consistent with his own. If justices rely on their own views more than they rely on the law, Bush must appoint a conservative.

Media polls will also press for “moderation” because they know they can’t win the war for outright liberalism. A nationwide Gallup poll of 1,006 adults taken in mid-June, before O’Connor’s decision, asked Americans whether they would like to see Bush appoint a new justice who would make the court more liberal or more conservative than it now is or whether they’d keep the court as it is now. A strong plurality of 41 percent chose a justice who’d make the court “more conservative.” Only 30 percent wanted a more liberal court, and just 24 percent championed the status quo.

Americans, while they can't tell you the names of the Justices, have a distinct feel for the left-leaning ideological imbalance on the Court.

Ultimately, all this means is that this Supreme Court nomination battle will be waged by elites on both sides. Let's just hope our elites are better than their elites. We elites on the right are in a good position to convince the American people of the necessity and desireability for a new direction on the Court, especially in light of wildly unpopular recent decisions that an average American can understand right in his gut.

Posted by Will Franklin · 7 July 2005 12:56 PM


God Bless him so much!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at July 7, 2005 08:53 PM

Supposedly he said when asked about his retirement.It is for me to know and you to find out! Good answer!

Posted by: Cindy T. at July 8, 2005 07:16 PM