10/11/2005 - Americans are divided over whether Harriet Miers should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Based on what they have heard so far, 33 percent say they favor her confirmation, while 27 percent are opposed; 40 percent express no opinion, according to the latest research by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. In mid-September the public by more than two-to-one favored , about two months after John Roberts had been nominated to the court, confirmation as chief justice of the United States (46 percent-21 percent), with a third offering no opinion.
Opposition to Miers is largely partisan, but she has not drawn enthusiastic support from conservative Republicans. A narrow majority of conservative Republicans (54 percent) favor her nomination; in mid-September 76 percent of them backed Roberts’ nomination. Support among moderate and liberal Republicans – as well as among Democrats – is lower for Miers than it was for Roberts.
The public is not greatly concerned about Miers’ ideological impact on the Supreme Court. Most Americans – including conservative Republicans – say they do not worry that Miers will make the court too conservative or insufficiently conservative. The public has a comparable reaction to the ideological impact of Roberts.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 6-10 among 1,500 Americans, shows that Miers’ lack of judicial experience and her past service as President Bush’s personal attorney are viewed negatively by sizable minorities of Americans. More broadly, about four-in-ten (41 percent) say that President Bush offers important jobs to his friends more often than other presidents, although 44 percent say he does so about as often, and 9 percent less often, than other presidents.