60% of Voters Say Supreme Court Should Base Rulings on Constitution
82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree.
During his acceptance speech last night at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, John McCain told the audience, “We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench.” Most American voters (60%) agrees and says the Supreme Court should make decisions based on what is written in the constitution, while 30% say rulings should be guided on the judge’s sense of fairness and justice. The number who agree with McCain is up from 55% in August.
While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree.
In terms of how the Supreme Court currently makes decisions, just 42% of voters think the justices rule from what is in the Constitution. Thirty-percent (30%) say they are guided by a sense of fairness and justice. Democrats are more likely than Republicans and unaffiliated voters to believe the justices base rulings on the Constitution.
The survey also found that 65% of voters think the Supreme Court justices have their own political agendas. That number has changed little over the past month. Just 18% believe the judges remain impartial when making decisions.
Nearly all voters believe the selection of Supreme Court justices by the president is important. The majority (63%) believe it is very important. Just 8% think the selection process by the president is not important.