PUBLIC VIEWS OF JUSTICE GINSBURG AND APPOINTMENTS TO THE SUPREME COURT
MILWAUKEE — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18, was the best known of the current justices, according to a new Marquette Law School national survey of public opinion of the Supreme Court, completed three days before her death.
The question of holding hearings and a vote on confirming a new justice immediately became an issue with Justice Ginsburg’s death, as it had following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. In this poll, conducted in the days before Ginsburg’s death, a substantial majority of respondents of both parties say that if a vacancy occurred during the 2020 election year, the Senate should hold hearings on a nominee, with 67 percent saying hearings should be held and 32 percent saying they should not be held. Views on holding hearings do not vary much by partisanship, as shown in Table 3. This table will provide a baseline from before there was a vacancy against which to measure any future change in partisan views, if a nomination is made and considered.
Table 3: Hold hearings on a nominee in 2020, by party identification
Party ID Hold hearings Not hold hearings
Republican 68 31
Independent 71 28
Democrat 63 37