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Survey: Most Wisconsinites Want Senate Vote On SCOTUS Nominee

A Majority Of Respondents Disagreed With GOP Leaders Who Say Next President Should Make Appointment

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Most Wisconsin voters think the U.S. Senate should hold hearings to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the most recent Wisconsin Survey.

President Barack Obama tapped Judge Merrick Garland, currently head of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, to fill the seat that opened after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But GOP Senate leaders say they’ll wait until a new president takes office before considering a new member for the nation’s high court.

Survey results from mid-April show 54 percent of respondents want the Senate to hold hearings and vote on Garland’s nomination, while 40 percent feel they should wait.

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University of Wisconsin-Green Bay political scientist David Helpap called it a “unique situation.”

“Perhaps (the survey) reflects the idea that this is what’s called for in the Constitution. That the president should nominate someone and the Senate should hold a vote,” said Helpap. “I mean (respondents) don’t say in the question that the Senate should approve this individual but just give this individual a chance.”

With only eight justices, the Supreme Court has already seen one high-profile case that dealt with public union dues end in a deadlock.

The survey polled more than 616 registered voters in Wisconsin over mobile and landline phones from April 12 to April 15. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.

The survey was conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the Strategic Research Institute at St. Norbert College.

Stay tuned to Wisconsin Public Radio and WPR.org for continuing coverage.

Credits: Jennifer Hadley/Wisconsin Public Television (infographic illustrations).