USConstitution.net 2005 Survey Results – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

USConstitution.net 2005 Survey Results

This site has conducted an unscientific survey on various issues since July
of 1998. The results, while interesting in most cases, are to be taken with a
grain of salt – the results can easily be skewed by an individual or group of
individuals; the sample is, by nature, not representative (because it consists
only of Web users who visit my site and bother to view the survey page and
submit an opinion).

This page includes results from 2005. For results from other years, please
go to the Main Results Page.

Question 89, December 2005: The Senate will be holding
confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito in January. What topic do you most want
to know Alito’s opinions about?

Response Count Percentage
Abortion 68 26.05
Affirmative Action 12 4.60
Capital Punishment 14 5.36
Eminent Domain 23 8.81
Federalism 14 5.36
Judicial Activism 25 9.58
Privacy Rights 45 17.24
I really don’t care 60 22.99
Total 261 100.00

Question 88, November 2005: If you were President, what
kind of political philosophy would you look for in a new Justice of the Supreme

Response Count Percentage
Strong Liberal 59 12.55
Liberal 60 12.77
Moderate 57 12.13
Conservative 54 11.49
Strong Conservative 86 18.30
I would not look at someone’s political leanings, but instead look for
some one well-schooled in Constitutional Law who has the respect of his or her
154 32.77
Total 470 100.00

Question 87, October 2005: George Bush has nominated
Harriet Miers to sit on the Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice Sandra
O’Connor. O’Connor has vowed to sit on the Court until her replacement is
confirmed by the Senate. What should O’Connor do in the meantime?

Response Count Percentage
O’Connor should act as though she is not retiring and hear and fully
participate in cases heard by the Court. She should vote with the Court on
those cases she hears. Her replacement should start fresh with only new
137 49.82
O’Connor should act as though she is not retiring and hear and fully
participate in cases heard by the Court. Once her replacement is confirmed,
however, she should resign immediately and stay out of cases that have not yet
been decided. Any case the Court feels should be reheard by the full Court can
be rescheduled.
66 24.00
O’Connor should play a minimal role in any Court proceedings. She
should step away as soon as the nominee is confirmed, leaving as little
footprint on the session as is possible.
22 8.00
Regardless of her vow to stay on, O’Connor should step down now to
avoid the confusion and uncertainty her presence might cause.
50 18.18
Total 275 100.00

Question 86, September 2005: Confirmation hearings for
Judge John Roberts are scheduled to start in September. Senators almost
universally agree that they should not ask a nominee about how he or she would
rule on any particular case – but then they tend to ask questions that ask them
to do just that, but not in so many words. Do the rules for confirmation
hearings need to be changed to limit the scope of questions, or are things just
right the way they are?

Response Count Percentage
The rules definitely need to be changed. The types of questions the
Senators ask are out of control.
435 55.13
While some questions might be out of bounds, the current process allows
the Senate to get a good read on how a nominee will rule from the bench, and it
needs to stay the same.
354 44.87
Total 789 100.00

Question 85, August 2005: Democrats, and a few Republicans,
in the Senate has delayed voting on the nomination of John Bolton to the
position of Ambassador to the United Nations. With a Congressional recess in
place, President Bush used the recess appointment to give Bolton the
ambassadorship. What do you think about this?

Response Count Percentage
Recess appointments are a part of the Constitution and a clear
Presidential power. If Bush wanted Bolton in the position, he was right to use
the recess appointment.
523 53.97
While recess appointments to other positions might be fine, the
Ambassador to the U.N. should be properly voted on by the Senate. Bush should
have waited for the Senate to move on the
87 8.98
The recess appointment was not intended to bypass the Senate but to
appoint someone when the Senate is not available. Bush should not have used
359 37.05
Total 969 100.00

Question 84, July 2005 Each July, this survey will be
offered, allowing us to track, over time, the political persuasion of our
visitors. Questions are asked about party affiliation as well as economic and
social ranking on a scale of 1 to 9 (1 being very conservative and 9 being very

Response Count Percentage Avg Econ Avg Soc
Other Parties 1 0.18
No Party 2 0.35
Communist Party 4 0.71 5.25 6.00
Constitution Party 15 2.65 3.47 3.00
Democratic Party 142 25.04 6.24 7.69
Green Party 19 3.35 7.53 8.26
Independent 97 17.11 4.14 5.34
Libertarian 46 8.11 2.67 5.96
Liberty Union 1 0.18 9.00 5.00
Natural Law 1 0.18 1.00 1.00
Reform Party 1 0.18 3.00 3.00
Republican Party 227 40.04 2.38 2.41
Socialist Party 11 1.94 7.55 8.27
Total 567 100.00 4.02 4.89

Economics ranking:

Response Count Percentage
1 = Very Conservative 105 18.52
2 85 14.99
3 106 18.69
4 45 7.94
5 = Moderate 75 13.23
6 29 5.11
7 58 10.23
8 22 3.88
9 = Very Liberal 42 7.41

Social ranking:

Response Count Percentage
1 = Very Conservative 123 21.69
2 65 11.46
3 55 9.70
4 19 3.35
5 = Moderate 53 9.35
6 31 5.47
7 49 8.64
8 61 10.76
9 = Very Liberal 111 19.58

Question 83, June 2005: After 30 years, the identity of
Deep Throat, the White House insider who kept Washington Post reporters Bob
Woodward and Carl Bernstein on track as they investigated the Watergate
scandal in the Nixon Administration, has revealed himself. 91-year-old Mark
Felt was the Assistant Director of the FBI during Nixon’s tenure. Most are
calling Felt a hero, others a self-interested opportunist, and still others a
traitor. What do you think?

Response Count Percentage
He’s a hero 587 57.32
He was just out for revenge 151 14.75
He was on a power trip 62 6.05
He was a traitor to the White House 224 21.88
Total 1024 100.00

Question 82, May 2005: Just a few days being paroled from a
Japanese prison for firearms charges, Gary Small returned to the United States
and bought a handgun. He answered “no” to the question of whether he had ever
been convicted of a felony. Once his Japanese conviction was discovered, he
was arrested for breaking a federal law prohibiting the ownership of a gun by
anyone convicted of a felony “in any court.” In a decision many found
surprising, Small’s conviction was thrown out when the liberal wing of the
Court ruled that the Congress meant “any U.S. court.” Conservative justices,
in their dissent, said that “any” court should mean “any court in the world.”
What do you think?

Response Count Percentage
The Court should have read the law as expansively as possible, and
foreign convictions should be included in the definition of “any” – the Court
got it wrong.
88 24.24
Considering that some foreign courts have much lower standards than the
U.S., it seems reasonable that Congress intended “any” to mean just U.S. courts
– the Court got it right.
275 75.76
Total 363 100.00

Question 81, April 2005 Terri Schiavo, long a pawn in a battle
of lawsuits between her husband and her parents, died at the tail end of March.
Her husband argued that he was her legal guardian and he knew that her wishes
were not to prolong life in a vegetative state. Her parents countered that as
a Catholic, Terri would have wanted all possible measures taken to prolong her
life. Courts at all levels agreed with the husband. The fight was made quite
public, which is extraordinary in itself. Even more extraordinary were the
series of actions by legislatures and executives, at the state and national
levels, to try to prolong Terri’s life How do you feel about the state and
national governments getting involved?

Response Count Percentage
The governments were entirely in the right – it is their role to look
out for the least of us, those without a voice.
165 24.16
While Terri’s parents had every right to use all legal means at their
disposal, the legislatures and executives should have butted out.
290 42.46
Terri’s husband should have gotten what he asked for for Terri years
ago – all the court cases after the first one were a waste of time.
228 33.38
Total 683 100.00

Question 80, March 2005 Democrats and Republicans alike
approach Social Security with trepidation. Is it a political third rail,
inviting certain death if touched? Perhaps – but all can agree that something
must be done now, while it is early, to ensure this most graven of political
images. Ideas abound. Which of the following do you think is the best chance
to save Social Security?

Response Count Percentage
Private accounts are the way to go – a percentage of my contributions
set aside just for me and invested how I
84 19.53
We have to raise the retirement age – people are living a lot longer
than ever before, and can be productive a lot longer, too.
14 3.26
Benefits have to be cut. In this day and age, you have to save some of
your own money to retire. You cannot rely solely on the government dole. Plan
ahead for cuts, and entice people to start saving now.
13 3.02
The $90,000 cap on taxable income should be eliminated – the rich
afford to pay more and they should.
108 25.12
Taxes have to be raised, there’s no two ways about it. The system is
designed so that the young subsidize the old – it is a way of honoring those
who came before you.
26 6.05
None of these will do it – we must negotiate some combination of two or
more of these ideas to make it palatable to today’s recipients and workers.
106 24.65
Social Security is a sham. It should be abolished. People should save
their own money, and turn to family and charities when they do not have
79 18.37
Total 430 100.00

Question 79, February 2005 In a recent Supreme Court case,
it was decided that the police can send a drug-sniffing dog up to any car
stopped for any normal traffic violation, as long as the arrival of the dog does
not extend the traffic stop for an abnormal period. There need be no specific
reason for the police to initiate the “sniff.” How do you feel about this?

Response Count Percentage
I agree with the Court: If there is no cost in time to the average
driver, such a search is fine. There is no right to possess contraband, and this
seems to be a reasonable police power.
149 25.96
The Court was wrong: If the police want dogs to sniff-search every car,
every cop should have a dog. To call a canine unit to a traffic stop is just
one step towards even more loss of freedom. We must tread very carefully
374 65.16
The Court was right and should have gone further: There should be no
presumption of privacy in a car – it is a car, not a home, for goodness sake.
Any search of any car should be legal.
51 8.89
Total 574 100.00

Question 78, January 2005 The Bush administration has been
criticized from several sides about its pledges to help the victims of the
Christmas-week tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Originally, only $10 million was
pledged, then $35 million, and later promises of $350 million in aid plus
military assistance was pledged. This begs the question, however – should the
United States be helping the victims of this tsunami, or of any natural disaster
that does not hit the U.S.?