What backgrounds do U.S. Supreme Court justices have?
When President Donald Trump nominated federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia, he chose a candidate whose professional background is very much in line with previous and current justices.
More favor than oppose Gorsuch nomination to Supreme Court
A few weeks after Gorsuch’s nomination, 44% of Americans say they favor the Senate confirming him, while 32% are opposed; roughly a quarter offer no opinion.
Younger Supreme Court appointees stay on the bench longer, but there are plenty of exceptions
Justices who were younger than 45 when they took the oath of office served an average of 21.6 years on the court; those who were ages 45 to 49 served an average of 19.4 years.
5 facts about abortion
As the debate over abortion continues, here are five key facts about Americans’ views on the topic.
About seven-in-ten Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade
More than 40 years after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, 69% of Americans say the historic ruling should not be completely overturned.
Support for death penalty lowest in more than four decades
The share of Americans who support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder is now at its lowest point in more than four decades.
5 facts about the Supreme Court
Amid the impasse over who should replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, data show the depths of Americans’ partisan and ideological divide over the high court.
Garland Nomination to Supreme Court Gets Positive Reception From Public
Although Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, more Americans say they favor (46%) than oppose (30%) Garland’s confirmation to the high court. About a quarter (24%) offer no opinion.
Long Supreme Court vacancies used to be more common
If Senate Republicans stick with their declared intention to not consider anyone President Obama might nominate to replace Antonin Scalia, his seat on the Supreme Court likely would remain vacant for a year or more. That would be the longest vacancy on the court for nearly five decades, but by no means the longest ever in U.S. history. In fact, for much of the 19th century it was not uncommon for Supreme Court seats to be unoccupied for months – or, in a few cases, years – at a time.
Scalia’s Supreme Court vacancy draws much public interest, unlike past open seats
Such high levels of interest and engagement weren’t common in past Supreme Court nomination battles.