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Majority of Americans want Supreme Court justices to interpret Constitution the way Justice Antonin Scalia did

by | Jan 9, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Justice Antonin Scalia

The surveys conducted for the Knights of Columbus by The Marist Poll are always helpful, because they tend to ask good questions in a thoughtful manner. The latest KOC poll addresses the question of what kind of Supreme Court justice does the public want to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia and how important is that to them.

Answer? A justice just like Justice Scalia–and it is very important!

We learn from the KOC that this survey of 2,729 adults, conducted December 12 through December 19, found

8 in 10 Americans (80 percent) say it is an “immediate priority” or an “important” one to appoint Supreme Court justices that will interpret the constitution as it was originally written. This includes 56 percent who say such an appointment is an “immediate priority.” Fifty-three percent of Independents, 80 percent of Republicans and more than four in 10 Democrats (42 percent) also say it is an “immediate priority.”

Let’s dig a little deeper. Respondents were asked to choose between wanting the High Court justices to interpret the Constitution “as it was originally written” (52%) versus those who want the justices to interpret based on what the justices think the “Constitution means now” (40%)–a 12 point difference.

Even 31% of Democrats agree with the former, joining 50% of Independents and 78% of Republicans.

One other survey result is very important in light of the outgoing Obama Administration’s ceaseless attacks on religious liberties.

89 percent of Americans

also see protecting religious freedom as a priority, including 57 percent who describe it as an “immediate priority” and 32 percent who consider it an “important” one. The issue is embraced in a completely bi-partisan manner. Fifty-one percent of Independents, 55 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans concur that this is an “immediate priority.”

And, by a 40 point margin– 65% to 25%– Americans

also believe religious freedom should be protected even when it conflicts with government laws. ….Strong majorities of Republicans (74 percent), Independents (63% ) and Democrats (60 percent) agree.

Categories: Supreme Court