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Majority of Americans Support Obama’s Supreme Court Nomination

President Obama Announces Merrick Garland As His Nominee To The Supreme CourtPresident Obama Announces Merrick Garland As His Nominee To The Supreme Court
President Barack Obama stands with Judge Merrick Garland while nominating him to the U.S. Supreme Court.Photograph by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

The American public has weighed in on President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.

A recent Gallup poll found that most Americans surveyed support a Senate confirmation of Merrick Garland, the federal judge Obama nominated last week to fill the vacant seat in the Supreme Court. The poll was conducted between March 18 and March 19, beginning two days after Garland was nominated, and included responses from just over 1,000 randomly selected adults.

About 52% of respondents said that they are more likely to favor a Senate confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court while 29% say they would oppose and 19% had no opinion. Those numbers are fairly average when compared to the seven other nominees since 1991.

On average, 51% of Americans supported the past eight nominees, including Garland, putting support for this latest nomination slightly above average. The number of Americans opposing Garland is a bit higher than average, which is about 25%, though both Elena Kagan and Harriet Miers saw more opposition. Garland also gets much more support from Democrats (76%) than he does from Republicans (33%).

Obama nominated federal judge Merrick Garland on March 16 and has since seen major opposition from Senate Republicans, particularly majority leader Mitch McConnell, who have refused to give Garland a confirmation hearing. Since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in February, many have argued that a so-called “lame duck” president shouldn’t be allowed to nominate someone to fill the vacancy, even though Obama isn’t technically a lame duck president just yet.