Most Americans want a vote on the next U.S. Supreme Court nominee before the midterm election -- not afterwards, as favored by Democrats -- according to a new NBC poll made public Tuesday.
President Donald Trump has the chance to nominate his second justice with Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement June 27. Senate Democrats were quick to say a vote on his replacement should be until after the midterms. But the found that the majority of Americans disagree, at 62 percent, with that plan.
Former President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacant seat towards the end of his term in 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote, claiming that 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.
"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 (D-Ill.) said in a statement 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."
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 midterm, 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 July 9.
Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at . Follow him on .