05/16/2005 - As the Senate prepares for a showdown on the use of the filibuster against some of President Bush's judicial nominees, the issue remains mostly off the public's radar. But public opinion especially among the roughly one-third of the public who has paid at least fairly close attention to the issue tilts against changing Senate rules to prohibit filibusters against judicial nominees.
This national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 11-15, 2005, among 1,502 Americans, finds that by 37%-28%, the general public opposes changing the Senate rules to stop the use of filibusters against judicial nominees. But a relatively large number of Americans (35%) have no opinion on the matter. Among the minority who have followed the story fairly or very closely, a majority (54%) opposes changing the rules on Senate filibusters.
About as many Americans blame President Bush (38%) as blame congressional Democrats (34%) for the stalemate over judicial nominees. Opinion on the broader principles involved in the filibuster debate is decidedly mixed. While 62% believe the Senate's minority party should be able to block nominees they feel strongly about, a majority (53%) says that President Bush should be able to appoint anyone he wants to the courts if a majority of senators agree.
Read the full report Disengaged Public Leans Against Changing Filibuster Rules on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.