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Majority of Americans say Obama should pick Supreme Court justice, according to poll

Senate Republicans might budge a little, too.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Mar 26, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 1:03 am CDT

A majority of Americans believe President Barack Obama, not the next president, should nominate the next Supreme Court justice, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents to the national poll said Obama should be able to make the pick. Sixty-four percent said Senate Republicans should hold hearings on D.C. Circuit chief judge Merrick Garland‘s nomination. 

Fifty-eight percent said opposition to Garland’s nomination would not be justified on the mere basis that he was appointed by the current president and not his successor.

Congressional Republican leadership initially said they would not even take a look at anyone nominated by Obama, but there has recently been a small but notable thaw in that position.

A spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said on Friday that Republicans “assume the administration will fill out the standard questionnaire submitted for judicial nominations,” BuzzFeed reports

The White House reacted with optimism although the Republican spokesperson was careful to stress the position that “a majority of the Senate has made clear that the American people should have an opportunity to weigh in on this vacancy.” 

H/T Politico | Photo via Senate Democrats/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 26, 2016, 5:50 pm CDT