Anna Greenberg and David Walker


Supreme Court Memo (PDF - 5 K)

Executive Summary

A new survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner commissioned by offers insights into the kind of Supreme Court Justice voters are looking for to replace John Paul Stevens. This report, commissioned by, reflects the results of a national survey of 801 likely voters taken between April 29 and May 3, 2010.  The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 3.46 points at a 95 percent confidence interval.

Key Findings

  • While voters react favorably to the Supreme Court overall, a majority of voters also believe the Court too often favors big corporations over individuals. These views of the court are shared in fairly equally numbers by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • Voters also sharply disagree with a number of recent court decisions, the Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission among them. This case opened a flood gate of corporate spending in our democracy.
  • More so than a narrow analysis of qualifications, voters want the Senate to consider a nominee’s understanding of the impact of court decisions on everyday Americans.
  • The leading preferred trait for a judicial nominee is someone who “will be fair so that individuals and families get an impartial hearing and not give preferential treatment to powerful individuals and big corporations.”
  • Democratic and Republican voters alike prefer a judicial nominee who has a record of providing fair justice to everyday Americans, a notable finding in an age of intense partisan polarization.