NH divided on vacant Supreme Court seat - 172 participants, 451 responses

Feb 17, 2016

On Saturday, February 13, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died of natural causes. New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte and her Democratic challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan, have stated differing opinions on whether the Senate should consider President Obama’s eventual nominee to fill Scalia’s seat. Sen. Ayotte believes the Senate should not move forward with the confirmation process until a new president has been elected, while Gov. Hassan has expressed an opposing viewpoint. On February 16, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you think the US Senate should consider President Obama's eventual nominee to Justice Scalia's vacant Supreme Court seat?”

“Do you think the US Senate should consider President Obama's eventual nominee to Justice Scalia's vacant Supreme Court seat?

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 82% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 18% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 451 responses from 172 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

 

What Participants Said:

Yes: A majority, at 58% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of the US Senate considering President Obama's eventual nominee to Justice Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat.

  • "It is the president's job to nominate one per the constitution.”
  • “The Constitution mandates it and no Senate body ever has stalled, blocked or delayed such a nomination. The obstructionism must end.”
  • “It is literally the job of the president to nominate someone, and the senate to consider and confirm or not confirm them. That is their obligation, and I don't see how anyone can argue that it isn't.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 42%, supported the US Senate refusing to consider Obama's nominee.

  • “Absolutely not. Leave it for the next president.”
  • “They are not obligated—and no doubt if the tables were turned, Democrats would do the exact same thing.”
  • “The Democrats denied a Bush nominee, so turnabout is fair play.”

Other: As noted above, 18% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Debating President Obama’s power in the nomination process: “Congress still has the ability to confirm or block the appointment.”
  • Discussing past nominations: “Does the name Robert Bork ring a bell?”
  • Expressing concern at what is currently taking place: “But that's not what the Constitution says to do.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think the US Senate should consider President Obama's eventual nominee to Justice Scalia's vacant Supreme Court seat? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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