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New Poll Shows Early Support for Supreme Court Nominee Alito

There is early public support for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, according to a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll. The report also noted that there was support for him among evangelicals.
( [email protected] ) Nov 07, 2005 02:17 PM EST

There is early public support for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, according to a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll. The report also noted that there was support for him among evangelicals.

About 38 percent of people said they backed Judge Alito's confirmation by the senate, while 22 percent didn't, and the rest were undecided. Evangelical support for Alito was around half. However earlier this year, at a similar stage in the nomination process, support for now Chief Justice John Roberts had been nearly two-thirds among evangelicals.

While pro-family Christian groups have mostly favored Alito¡¦s nomination, some, including the Family Research Council have decided to wait for the confirmation process to finish before endorsing him, although the group has said it is ¡§very encouraged¡¨ by what it knows of him so far.

Conservatives say they favor Alito's judicial philosophy. On example cited is Alito's opinion in 1991 federal case in which he wrote that Pennsylvania legally passed a law requiring that husbands be notified their wives when before getting an abortion.

The Pew Research Center noted that while Alito was at odds with fellow judges on that case, and the Supreme Court eventually struck down the law, the public supports spousal notification by a margin on nearly three-to-one.

In their decision, the nine member Supreme Court said that spousal notification placed an undue burden on the woman, and was therefore unconstitutional.

While noting the public's support for spousal notification, the Pew Research Center noted that Americans overall don't want to outlaw abortion by a factor of two-to-one.

¡§The strong public support for spousal notification is part of a complex, cross-cutting pattern of public opinion on abortion-related issues,¡¨ said a statement released by the Pew Research Center.

¡§But at the same time it also strongly favors an array of restrictions on abortion ¡V including mandatory waiting periods, parental consent for minors seeking an abortion; spousal notification for married women seeking an abortion; and a prohibition on later term abortions,¡¨ the statement continued.

Regarding spousal notification, the Pew Research Center cites a 2003 Gallup poll which found that 72 percent of the public supported a law requiring that the husband of a married woman be notified if she wanted to have an abortion. A 1992 Pew Research Center asking a similar question also received similar results, with 69 percent supporting that husbands be notified if their wife wanted to have an abortion.

The AP-Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos, an internatioanl polling firm. It was taken from 1,006 respondents from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, excluding states hard hit by recent hurricanes. It did not interview people in Louisiana, southern Mississippi and central and southern Florida.