80% of liberals, 22% of conservatives say U.S. Constitution should ‘evolve’ with the times
C-SPAN has conducted a telling opinion poll on the Supreme Court. It found that likely voters are missing a few details. Two-thirds of the respondents could not name “the individual” whom President Trump nominated to be a Supreme Court justice — even though seven out of 10 say they are following the story.
Over half couldn’t name even one justice, while majorities favor limited appointments for the justices themselves.
In the meantime, Republicans and conservatives remain protective of the Constitution as it was originally written.
The survey found that 48 percent of voters overall agree that “the Constitution is a living document which should evolve to recognize ‘new rights’ and changing circumstances.” That includes 80 percent of liberals and 66 percent of Democrats — but only 22 percent of conservatives and 26 percent of Republicans.
Another 42 percent of voters overall say that the Constitution “should be interpreted according to its original words and meaning.” The survey found that 15 percent of liberals and 23 percent of Democrats agree with this, compared to 68 percent of conservatives and 64 percent of Republicans.
The poll also found that 63 percent of voters overall would prefer an 18-year, rather than a lifetime, appointment for Supreme justices; 60 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.
The partisan divide has crept into voter perception of the court itself.
“Two in three American citizens who have an opinion think the U.S. Supreme Court is a partisan political body similar to Congress and those numbers are rising,” said Robert Green, a research expert with Penn Schoen Berland, the strategic communications group that crafted the poll.
The C-SPAN/PSB Research survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted Aug. 13-15.
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