This Just In: Sometimes Voters Aren't Very Informed About Candidates

Texans like the right to vote for their State Supreme Court judges, even though they know nothing about them, their judicial philosophies, or even who they are.

That’s according to a statewide poll released earlier today by the staunchly conservative Federalist Society.

Out of 700 people polled, 71 percent agree with the current system, saying that Texas voters should be the ones to decide who sits on the bench, and 79 percent say they will definitely cast a vote in the trio of races for seats that are up for grabs on the Texas Supreme Court this November. That doesn’t mean it will be an informed vote, though.

A total of 64 percent of those polled say they are not familiar with the high court, its rulings or decisions, and 97 percent cannot name a single current Texas Supreme Court justice. When asked about basic judicial philosophies such as “judicial activism” and “judicial restraint,” roughly two-thirds of those polled revealed they are not familiar with either concept.

That said, when the theories were explained, 56 percent of Texans say they prefer restraint to activism.

“There’s a real impulse for judicial restraint among the electorate in Texas,” says polling expert Kellyanne Conway, “whether they know it’s called restraint or whether they know that it has a name in jurisprudence, I think is less relevant than the overwhelming fact that, to quote the United States Supreme Court, with respect to obscenity, ‘They know it when they see it.’”

Can’t get much more Texas than that. Yee-haw. – Chris Vogel


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