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Poll: Justice’s Stance on Immigration, Voting Rights More Important Than Abortion

Americans also concerned about police powers

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Americans want a new Supreme Court justice who shares their views on immigration and voting rights — even more than someone who agrees with them on abortion, according to a new poll. 

Fifty-four and 53 percent of respondents to this week’s Economist/YouGov poll said it was very important that the next Supreme Court justice share their views on immigration and voting rights, versus 47 percent who said the same about abortion rights. And about 49 percent said it was very important to get a justice who agreed with them on police powers.

The findings come as the battle over retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat solidifies around the future of Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion. President Trump’s nominee, expected to be announced July 9, will almost certainly face a litany of questions about the 1973 opinion. Trump himself promised in 2016 that his Supreme Court picks would be pro-life.

Kennedy embraced liberal arguments on abortion. He likewise showed some sympathy to voting rights advocates’ arguments against partisan gerrymandering and was expected to be a key to outlawing the practice when it next came before the court. But he sided with conservatives this year when the court upheld Trump’s ban on travel from predominately Muslim countries. 

The poll also found 52 percent of respondents did not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, versus 26 percent who did.

The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults from July 1-3 through web-based interviews and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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