Dems Want to Delay Supreme Court Nominee — Most Americans Don’t

President Donald Trump will announce his pick Monday, but getting a Senate vote before 2018 election may be tough

Most Americans want a vote on the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the midterm election — not afterward, as favored by Democrats — according to a new NBC poll made public Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has the chance to nominate his second justice after Anthony Kennedy’s announcement of his retirement on June 27, which is effective at the end of July.

Senate Democrats were quick to say a vote on Kennedy’s replacement should be delayed until after the midterms.

But the NBC poll found the majority of Americans disagree, at 62 percent, with that plan.

Former President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacant seat toward the end of his term in 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote, claiming voters should have the opportunity to select the next president before the vacancy was filled. Trump then nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom the Senate confirmed.

Related: Here Are the Top 5 Possible Trump Supreme Court Nominees (and 3 Dark Horses)

“Senator McConnell set the new standard by giving the American people their say in the upcoming election before court vacancies are filled,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement on June 27. “With so much at stake for the people of our country, the U.S. Senate must be consistent and consider the president’s nominee once the new Congress is seated in January.”

Related: Conservatives Won Most of Landmark Supreme Court Term’s Big Cases

Eighty-five percent of Republicans surveyed want a vote before the midterm elections, while a slight majority of Democrats disagree at 55 percent. Independents also want a vote before the midterms, at 61 percent. Americans were divided on the political tilt of the court and whether it would uphold landmark decisions, such as the 1973 abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.

Trump already has a list of potential nominees, with his final decision expected on Monday, July 9.

Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].