Poll Shows Americans Want Pro-Choice Supreme Court Justice

While the presidential elections for 2004 are over, where America stands on some of the issues discussed during the election campaign still remains up in the air, one issue in particular is abortion.

According to an Associate Press poll, most Americans feel that President George W. Bush should choose a Supreme Court Justice who would reinforce the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion. However, the general public is divided on the abortion issue.

President Bush has avoided answering whom he would name to an opening, but he emphasizes like his prior selection, he will pick the young and conservative.

According to the AP poll, 59 percent of Americans want President Bush to choose a nominee who “upholds” the Roe v. Wade decision. The other 31 percent want a nominee who will overturn the ruling.

“While I don’t have a strong feeling about abortions personally, I wouldn’t want the law overturned and return to the days of backdoor abortions,” said Colleen Dunn, 40, a Republican and community college teacher who resides outside Philadelphia.

Both men and women from most age groups, economic backgrounds, and residents of suburban, urban, and rural areas want a nominee in favor of abortion. Less than half of Republicans, evangelicals, and those over the age of 65 also support a nominee who supports abortion.

The poll also revealed six in 10 people think justices should have a retirement age requirement because once justices are appointed they serve a lifetime. Currently, there are no openings in high court, and Clarence Thomas is the only justice under 65, and Chief Justice William

Rehnquist, 80, suffers from thyroid cancer.

“The justices hold office year after year. Some of them are old codgers who need to get out of the way, and let the younger folks with fresh ideas come in,” said Opal Bristow, an 84-year old Democrat and retired teacher who resides near San Antonio.

The poll also showed 61 percent of all the respondents feel the Supreme Court nominees should reveal their views on abortion before being approved for the job.

Approximately two-thirds of each group said they wanted to know.

The Associated Press surveyed 1,000 adults from Nov. 19-21 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.