Majority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll

A majority of Americans disapprove of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE’s appointments to the Supreme Court and have little or no confidence that he would pick a suitable candidate to fill any potential future vacancies, according to a new poll from the Marquette University Law School.


The survey found that 57 percent of U.S. adults polled somewhat or strongly disapprove of the way Trump has handled filling vacancies on the nation’s top court. Forty-three percent said they somewhat or strongly approve of the president’s approach, a figure that is slightly higher than Trump’s overall approval rating of 40 percent in the poll.

Fifty-six percent said they have little or no confidence that Trump would “select the right kind of person to sit on the Supreme Court” if another vacancy were to open up. Thirty-two percent said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence, and another 13 percent said they have some confidence.

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s record of Supreme Court appointments polls higher among Republicans, with 89 percent of respondents who identify with the GOP saying they strongly or somewhat approve of his approach to filling the court. Eighty percent of respondents who identified as Republican-leaning said the same.

The poll also found widespread disapproval with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days MORE's (R-Ky.) refusal to consider Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandAppeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records Divisive docket to test Supreme Court ahead of 2020 Majority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll MORE, former President Obama's nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his death in early 2016. Seventy-three percent said McConnell's decision not to hold any confirmation hearings for Garland was the wrong thing to do, while 27 percent said it was the right thing to do.

McConnell argued at the time that it would be improper to hold confirmation hearings just before a presidential election. But if a vacancy opens up in 2020 ahead of the next election and Trump puts forth a nominee, 69 percent of the poll's respondents said that the Senate should hold hearings, while 31 said it shouldn't.

Trump later filled Scalia's seat with Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchProtesters roll out a screen playing Blasey Ford's testimony ahead of Federalist Society dinner Kavanaugh to deliver major speech to conservative Federalist Society McConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star MORE, who was confirmed in 2017.

The poll also shows that the partisan battle over Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughElection 2020: Why I'm watching Amy and Andy Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation Protesters roll out a screen playing Blasey Ford's testimony ahead of Federalist Society dinner MORE’s confirmation last year has had a lasting impact on the public’s perception of the court and Kavanaugh in particular.

Despite being the most junior member of the court, Kavanaugh, who was confirmed in a narrow 50-48 Senate vote last year after being bombarded with accusations of sexual assault, is now only second to Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgGinsburg returns to Supreme Court after stomach bug Ginsburg misses Supreme Court arguments due to illness Justices appear divided over expanding police officers' traffic stop power MORE in terms of public awareness. Just 42 percent were unable to rate Kavanaugh in terms of favorability, compared to 41 percent for Ginsburg.

He also has the highest unfavorability rating of the nine justices, with 32 percent. Twenty-six percent said they viewed him favorably.

Kavanaugh is one of two justices, along with Gorsuch, that Trump has nominated and seen confirmed to the court.

The survey was conducted Sept. 3-13 and is based on answers from 1,423 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

Updated at 1:04 p.m.