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Poll: 62% of adults nationwide believe SCOTUS justice decisions are motivated mainly by law

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate a woman to replace the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. There are 12 female lawyers and judges on his shortlist.
President Donald Trump is expected to nominate a woman to replace the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. There are 12 female lawyers and judges on his shortlist.(Gray DC)
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 7:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - About 62% of adults across the nation believe the Supreme Court justices' decisions are motivated mainly by the law, while the remainder believe they are motivated mainly by politics.

According to a Marquette Law School Poll released Friday, while views of the Court can correspond to political identifications, the view of judicial motivations is uniform across partisanship and ideology.

The idea that justices are motivated by politics was believed by 39% of identifying Republicans, 35% of Independents and 39% of Democrats. Those who believe justices are mainly motivated by the law was believed by 60% of identifying Republicans, 65% of Independents and 61% of Democrats.

Mainly PoliticsMainly the Law
Republican3960
Independent3565
Democrat3961

When asked how justices should interpret the law, 46% of Republicans believed they should read the law as written, while 56% of Democrats say they should interpret the law as it applies to current circumstance. Forty-seven percent of Independents also believe that they should interpret the law as it applies to current circumstance.

Across all party groups, about one in five said the original meaning of the law should be the basis of decisions.

This poll was completed shortly before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18.

The survey was done between Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 and 1,523 people were interviewed. There is a margin of error of +/-3.3% points. There were also 1,357 likely voters and the margin of error among them was +/-3.6% points.

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