52% of Americans disapprove of GOP handling of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings: poll

  • 52% of Americans disapprove of the GOP handling of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
  • In the recent Quinnipiac poll, a majority (51%) also expressed support for Jackson’s confirmation.
  • Democrats hope to have Jackson confirmed by the Senate by the end of the week.

A majority of Americans disapprove of the way that the Republican Party has handled the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll.

In the survey, which was released on March 30, 52% of respondents had a negative view of the GOP approach to vetting Jackson for the high court, while 27% approved of their efforts.

A plurality of respondents (42%) had a positive opinion of the Democratic Party’s handling of the nomination, while 34% had a negative view.

Along party lines, Americans appear to be divided. Fifty-two percent of Republicans were satisfied with their party’s handling of the confirmation hearing, while 76% of Democrats held a positive view of the way that their party conducted the process. 

Overall, 51% of respondents backed Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, while only 30% were opposed to her appointment.

Democrats approved of Jackson’s confirmation by a massive 84%-5% margin, while Republicans opposed the judge’s nomination 60%-21%. Independents supported Jackson’s confirmation by a 54%-27% margin.

In the survey, 72% of respondents also said that the Supreme Court confirmation process had become too “political,” while 21% disagreed.

Republicans have come under fire by Democrats since Jackson’s confirmation hearings began late last month, with the majority party arguing that the GOP sought to unfairly malign of the judge’s judicial record. From 2013 to 2021, Jackson was a  federal judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and since last year, she has served on the DC federal appellate court.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — who has made bipartisanship a hallmark of his congressional career and who has been a thorn in the side of many of President Joe Biden’s most ambitious domestic legislative plans — criticized Judiciary Committee Republicans last week for what he saw as their “disgraceful” behavior toward Jackson.

Manchin, who has been a wild card on much of the Democratic Party’s agenda in the 50-50 Senate, recently committed to backing Jackson’s confirmation.

“It was disgraceful, it really was, what I saw,” he told reporters last week regarding Jackson’s treatment during her hearings. “I think she’s extremely well-qualified and I think she’ll be an exemplary judge.”

During the hearings, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, all adopted aggressive lines of questioning, with the GOP lawmakers pressing Jackson on everything from critical race theory to her sentencing for sex-related cases. In many instances, she was repeatedly cut off by the lawmakers.

All three men pressed Jackson about sentencing guidelines, with Brown explaining her reasoning for granting specific lengths of sentences on multiple occasions.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on the second day of Jackson’s hearings told reporters that “four or five” Republican senators declined to show a proper level of respect toward the judge. The Illinois Democrat blasted lawmakers whom he felt used the confirmation hearings as a vehicle to promote themselves.

“This notion of asking the toughest and meanest questions and then race to Twitter to see if somebody is tweeting it … I mean that’s as bad as playing to the cameras on the worst day,” Durbin said last week. 

After an April 4 Senate vote to advance Jackson’s nomination, Democrats hope to have the judge confirmed by the end of the week.