Voters would be more likely to support Senate candidates who want to pass new ethics rules for Supreme Court justices, new polling shared first with CQ Roll Call from two liberal groups suggests.
The poll, from the Progressive Change Institute and Data for Progress, found that 61 percent of all voters would be more likely to support a candidate who wanted to pass new ethics rules for justices, compared to 18 percent who said they would be less likely to do so.
Among Democrats, 78 percent said they would be more likely to support that candidate, compared to 8 percent who would be less likely to do so, while Republicans were 43 percent more likely to support that candidate compared to 29 percent who said they would be less likely to do so. Among independents, 58 percent were more likely and 16 percent less likely.
“Candidates of both parties should be aware that voters want leaders who will stand up to this corrupted and increasingly illegitimate Supreme Court by pushing ethics reform,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Institute, said in a release.
The poll of 1,207 likely voters was conducted using web panel respondents between June 29 and July 1 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
It comes as Democrats have called for Supreme Court justices to be under an ethics code after reports revealed Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose trips and a real estate sale financed by Harlan Crow, a GOP donor and longtime friend of Thomas. Another recent report found that Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. didn’t disclose a trip to Alaska financed by a hedge fund billionaire who had cases come before the Supreme Court. Another recent report said that staff to Justice Sonia Sotomayor pressured institutions where she spoke to purchase books she’s written.
Republicans have opposed Democrats’ push for an ethics code and argued Congress shouldn’t impose ethics rules on the Supreme Court. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has argued Democrats are acting out of frustration with court opinions that block their policy priorities, something he says both parties must contend with.
“These escalating attacks from the left betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the court’s structure and purpose,” McConnell wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed. “It is an ideologically unpredictable body that takes cases as they come and produces diverse outcomes. Recent rulings put that reality in stark relief.”
The groups also polled whether voters would be more or less likely to support a Senate candidate “who would only support future nominees for the Supreme Court who pledge to support abortion rights.” Among all voters, 50 percent said they agreed while 27 percent said they did not.
The divide on that question between the two parties was much starker. Republicans said they were 30 percent more likely to support a candidate who said they would only support nominees who pledged to protect abortion rights, while 44 percent said they would be less likely to support that candidate. Among Democrats, 74 percent said they would be more likely to support that candidate, while 12 percent said they would be less likely to support them.