Monmouth Poll: Public Supports SCOTUS Nominee Ketanji Jackson
Americans back the appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court by a more than 2 to 1 margin. A majority also approve of President Joe Biden’s promise to name a Black woman as his first SCOTUS nominee.
The Monmouth (“Monmuth”) University Poll finds more than two-thirds of the public feels it is important for the court to reflect the nation’s diversity. About 2 in 10 believe that having a Black woman on the Supreme Court will have a real impact on how cases are decided while 3 in 10 say it will have no impact.
A majority of Americans (55%) say Jackson should be confirmed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. Only 21% say she should not be confirmed and 24% offer no opinion. Nearly half of the public has heard enough about Jackson to feel that she is either very qualified (33%) or somewhat qualified (14%) for the position. Only 9% say she is not qualified while 43% have not heard enough about the nominee to assess her qualifications.
More than half of the public (53%) approve of Biden’s promise to name a Black woman as his first SCOTUS nominee, while 41% disapprove of him making this a primary factor in his choice.
Other poll findings include:
- More than 2 in 3 Americans feel that having a court that looks like the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of the country is either very (46%) or somewhat (23%) important.
- 19% feel that having a Black woman on the Supreme Court will have a real impact on how cases are decided, while 46% say it will have a limited impact and 31% say no impact.
“Expectations of Judge Jackson’s impact may be limited, but that might be seen as a good thing. The public may primarily see all nine justices as sharing a common background as jurists first and foremost. The diversity of its membership brings more nuance to their deliberations. Overall, initial reaction to this nomination is broadly positive,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
There is widespread support for Jackson’s nomination among Democrats while Republicans tend to be opposed, but not overwhelmingly so. Specifically, 82% of Democrats say Jackson should be confirmed and 64% say she is very qualified. Among Republicans, 42% say she should not be confirmed (compared with 29% who say she should), but only 20% feel Jackson is not qualified to sit on the court (compared with 34% who say she is qualified).
Among Black Americans, 73% say Jackson should be confirmed (just 3% oppose her confirmation and 24% have no opinion) and 80% approve of Biden’s promise to name a Black woman as his first SCOTUS nominee. By comparison, 61% of other racial minorities approve of Biden making race and gender a priority in his choice, but non-Hispanic whites are divided on this (45% approve and 50% disapprove).
The Monmouth poll also finds the U.S. Supreme Court as a whole receives a split 42% approve and 42% disapprove rating for the job it is doing. Republicans (52%) are more likely than Democrats (31%) to approve. Six years ago, the Supreme Court earned a more positive rating of 49% approve and 33% disapprove, with Democrats (65% approve) being more positive than Republicans (36% approve).
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 10 to 14, 2022 with 809 adults in the United States. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.