Poll: America Wants Judge Roberts Confirmed

A majority of Americans say that Judge John G. Roberts should be confirmed as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Many prominent Christian conservatives have overwhelmingly supported the nomination, even as his views on the issues are still being sorted out.

The Washington Post-ABC poll released on Saturday indicates that about six in 10 americans, 59 percent, said the Senate should confirm Roberts, which is more than double the 23 percent who said he should not. The rest did not express an opinion.

Americans also view Roberts as a nominee who is not an extremist, according to the poll. It says 58 percent of Americans view him as being "about right" politically, with 26 percent saying he is "too conservative," and 9 percent having no opinion.

Since the nomination, conservative Christian figures have said they were looking for a "non-activist" judge who would apply the laws in the constitution strictly.

Judge Roberts has received praise from both liberals and conservatives within the Senate for his strong resume, which includes top marks at Harvard, a clerkship in the Supreme Court, and just under 40 cases argued before the Supreme Court.

Still, there have been questions about Roberts' stance on important issues, such as abortion. The Washington Post poll shows that nearly two thirds, 64 percent, say that the judge should explain his views on the matter before the Senate votes.

Operation Rescue, a Christian pro-life group has already given its initial support to Roberts saying it is "guardedly optimistic" that Roberts will "be a step toward restoring protections for the pre-born that were stolen from them in 1973," referring to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The poll also revealed that while a majority of Americans view Roberts as "about right" politically, a significant majority, 65 percent of the overall American public, thinks that the Roe v. Wade decision should stand.

Many Christian conservatives have taken President Bush at his word that he would fulfill his campaign promises to nominate a conservative judge similar to Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

The poll was conducted by randomly selecting 500 adults on Thursday night for the survey. It carries an error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.