Brett Kavanaugh Hearing: Only Two Supreme Court Nominees Had Less Public Support and Neither Were Confirmed

As President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces his confirmation hearing this week, polls indicate that only 38 percent of Americans say he should be placed on the High Court.

Only two other Supreme Court nominees have had lower public support: Harriet Miers in 2005 and Robert Bork and 1987. Neither nominee was confirmed—Miers withdrew her nomination and the Senate rejected Bork.

The poll, conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post in late August, indicated that 39 percent of the American public believes that Kavanaugh should not be confirmed. The remaining 33 percent of those polled said they were undecided.

Other than Kavanaugh and Bork, all previous Supreme Court nominees have received more support than opposition in polls dating back to 1987, including Trump's first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, in 2017.

Those polled also said that Kavanaugh should publicly state his stance on abortion before the Senate confirmed him. In 2005, about 40 percent of Americans said that the Supreme Court should make it more difficult to get an abortion. Today, only 30 percent said the Court should make it harder.

Kavanaugh has not expressed outright opposition to Roe v. Wade, but Democrats fear that with a conservative majority on the Court, the landmark abortion decision could face challenges.

During his previous confirmation hearing to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2006, Kavanaugh declined to answer when asked about his views on Roe v. Wade, stating, "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view on that case."

Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearing
A nameplate for Judge Brett Kavanaugh sits on the desk where he will testify before Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, September 4, in Washington, D.C. A new poll found that only 38 percent of those surveyed said that Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

According to the poll, participants' views on the judge were tied to their views on Trump. Among Trump supporters, more than 70 percent said Kavanaugh should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. For those who disapproved of the president, only 17 percent said Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

With Republicans controlling the Senate, Democrats will be hard-pressed to block Kavanaugh's confirmation. But high-ranking Democrats said they wouldu se the hearing to hammer Kavanaugh on his views about abortion, investigations into the president and executive power.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing begins on Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee will lay out a case as to why Kavanaugh should or should not serve on the Supreme Court. Formal questioning of Kavanaugh is set to begin on Wednesday.