America Speaks: Do they think President Trump should fill Ginsburg's Supreme Court Justice seat?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
September 25, 2020, 4:00 PM UTC

In a recent YouGov snap poll, half of registered voters (51%) do not think President Donald Trump should fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat before the 2021 presidential inauguration.  

But why do YouGov users feel this way about filling Ginsburg’s seat? We asked our Chat users to go deeper on the issue and tell us what they think. You can share your views on whether Trump should fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat here.   

“According to the GOP, February 2016 was too close to a presidential election for Obama to nominate a Justice. Now in September, we are expected to accept a nomination two months before an election. If this occurs, we will now know for certain that there is one set of rules for the GOP and another for everyone else.” 

When we asked Chat users to tell us why they think President Trump should not appoint a new Supreme Court Justice before the next presidential inauguration, most pointed their fingers at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell who helped block President Obama’s Supreme Court Justice pick in 2016 – eight months before the election. “To do so would be a direct contradiction of the handling of the SCOTUS vacancy under the end of the Obama administration,” said one user. “Given the Senate’s stance on the previous administration’s nomination of Merrick Garland, with nearly a year left under that administration, it’s unethical to proceed with such little time left before the election. If it couldn’t be done for years ago, there’s no justification for doing it now,” wrote another.  

“We need to respect her dying wish. Honor her lifetime of integrity & service!” 

For others who say Trump should not appoint a new Justice, YouGov Chat users cite Ginsburg’s final wish – to not be replaced until a new president is installed. “... [I]t was RBG’s dying wish to wait until after the election to appoint someone to fill her seat,” wrote a YouGov Chat user. “Her dying wish was to wait until after the presidential election and allow the elected president to appoint the new judge,” said another.  

“In this era of extreme polarization, we need to ensure balance on the court.” 

Other YouGov Chat users cited concerns over an unbalanced court if President Trump were to appoint a new Justice to fill Ginsburg’s seat. “It's a matter of respect towards the idea of a balanced Supreme Court,” wrote one user. “We need a more balanced Supreme Court so that all Americans are fairly represented,” said another.  

“It is his job and if he has a nominee then put that person forward.”  

For those who believe President Trump should appoint a new Justice to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, most say it’s his job to do so. “He is still the president, he needs to do his job,” wrote one user. “The vacancy should be filled with a qualified judge. It is the president's job to make the appointments and the Senate to confirm. There is a vacancy, and it should be filled,” said another.  

“A moderate with a strong sense of the Constitution as a limit on government and not the people.” 

So, who do Americans think should be the new Supreme Court Justice nominee? “Merrick Garland. He was a moderate, who Obama chose to keep the country at peace. I don't want a radical on either side. Let's have a court that is influenced on expanding human rights and the liberty in our Constitution, not destroying the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, etc.,” wrote one user. While Garland gathered a lot of support in the YouGov Chat comments, so did Amy Coney Barrett. “My vote at this time would be for Amy Coney Barrett,” wrote one user.  

Not everyone is so sure who the next Supreme Court Justice should be, but some say it should be someone who can follow Ginsburg's footsteps: “I don't know. A woman of character and a sharp legal mind in the tradition of RBG,” voiced a YouGov Chat user. “I don't know specifically, but I believe it should be a woman to replace RBG and it should be somebody with a more liberal bent,” wrote another. Others disagree and hope for a more conservative nominee. “I don't know yet, but it should be a conservative judge,” said a Chat user.  

Related: Many Americans want the next Supreme Court justice to be a moderate 

How Americans remember Justice Ginsburg, and what comes next on filling her seat 

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Everyday, members of YouGov Chat are asked to share their opinion on a topic in the news. We allow anyone to take part in these chats, and do not display or weight results in real-time. Instead, to make the experience informative but still interactive, the Chat displays weighted data from YouGov Direct to show them how the rest of the country voted. This enables us to pose the question to all, while retaining data accuracy and validity when communicating results.  

YouGov Chat seeks to add to the ‘what?’ (the quantitative poll result) by finding the ‘why?” (qualitative open ends) in a member’s own words. Learn more about YouGov Chat here.    

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