Republicans Think Denying Obama on SCOTUS Vote Is Good Politics

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Paul Morigi—Getty Images

Since Justice Antonin Scalia died, Republicans in the Senate have been pledging not to support any nominee for the spot left open on the Supreme Court. Though they’ve faced plenty of push back from Democrats, the Republicans are now saying voters support their decision. This despite a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released Tuesday, which found that 55% of registered voters disapproved of the GOP’s strategy, with some 45% registering strong disapproval.

A memo, circulated by GOP leadership and obtained by Politico, says that a majority of voters agree that the next president should be the one to pick Scalia’s replacement, even if that means waiting more than a year to fill the vacancy.

“The survey found almost unanimous awareness of the death of Justice Scalia, strong support for originalist intent in interpreting the Constitution, and concern over President Obama appointing a liberal justice who would tip the ideological balance of the court,” Republican pollster Greg Strimple wrote in the memo, according to Politico.

For more Fortune coverage of Scalia’s death, see:

More than half of those surveyed were more concerned about a liberal justice replacing Scalia then with the seat being empty for an extended time.

Currently, there are four reliable liberal justices — Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayer, Elene Kagan, and Stephen Breyer. Then there are three reliable conservatives — Samuel Alito, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas. Anthony Kennedy is generally a swing vote. Conservatives fear that allowing Obama to replace Scalia will tip the balance too heavily in favor of the left.

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