Rasmussen: 62% Want to Elect Judges Instead of Having Them Appointed

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010 10:18 AM

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An overwhelming majority of U.S. voters believe that judges should be elected rather than appointed, according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

The Rasmussen results Monday came out a day before the Los Angeles Times report that a politicized appointment process has left 1 in 8 federal judgeships vacant across the country. The lag in appointments is taking a serious toll on justice, the Times quotes legal scholars as saying.

Rasmussen, which discovered that 62 percent of the voters favor electing judges during a national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters on Aug. 26 and 27, explained the finding by tying it to the fact that 53 percent believe judges have their own political agendas.

Almost 40 percent of voters say most judges in the country are too liberal, the survey found, while 18 percent believe most judges are too conservative and 31 percent, the judges are about right ideologically.

Only 29 percent believe that judges generally remain impartial, the survey found. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly believe that most judges have their own agendas. Democrats are evenly divided.

The findings also are consistent with a broader theme echoing through the political environment: Many people believe that government officials simply are not listening to the voters, Rasmussen’s analysis says.

A plurality of liberal and moderate voters say most judges are about right, but 65 percent of conservatives say most judges are too liberal.

These numbers show that voters view most judges as a bit more liberal than the Supreme Court, Rasmussen says. Just 33 percent believe the Supreme Court is too liberal, while 27 percent say it’s too conservative.

As for the federal vacancies, the Times noted that Democrats accuse Republicans of blocking appointments, while Republicans blame the Obama administration for lagging in appointments.

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