Majority of Voters Want Up-Or-Down Vote on Judicial Nominees, Poll Shows

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - A new poll shows an "overwhelming majority" of Americans favor an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate on judicial nominees.

The survey, conducted by the Judicial Confirmation Network, concluded that 67 percent of voters agree that politics should be taken out of the courts and out of the confirmation process.

"It is abundantly clear that the American people are tired of the partisan, political maneuvering and the unwarranted character assassinations against qualified candidates for the federal bench," said Wendy Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, in a press release.

Eighty-two percent of voters agree that "if a nominee for any federal judgeship is well-qualified, he or she deserves an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate," the poll found.

"People see through these aggressive and negative attacks waged by some individuals and groups on the left and they want it to end," Long said. She added that voters want senators "to do their jobs" and vote up or down on nominees "based on their qualifications, not the baseless, negative rhetoric of the left."

The survey also found 75 percent of voters agree that "President Bush should keep his promise made during the campaign to nominate a U.S. Supreme Court justice who will apply existing law, not make new law." And by 78 to 12 percent, voters agreed that senators have a "constitutional duty" to vote on judicial nominations.

"When eighty two percent of the voting public says the Senate should give these nominees a fair vote based on their qualifications, Senators need to take notice," said Gary Marx, executive director of the Judicial Confirmation Network, in a statement.

"We are actively communicating with thousands of citizens and dozens of grassroots organizations across the country who tell us that the Senators who play an active role in obstructing the confirmation process could well pay a hefty political price," added Marx.

The poll was conducted from March 6-9 among 800 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent.

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