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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia late last week has underlined the importance of judicial nominations in the 2016 presidential nominations. And Republican voters clearly prefer one candidate to select future High Court justices.

According to a new poll, Republicans believe Senator Ted Cruz would be best suited to appoint dependable conservatives to the Supreme Court.

“Which candidate do Republicans trust the most to name Scalia’s successor?” the Independent Journal Review asked 1,554 likely Republican voters who watched the GOP presidential debate on CBS News last Saturday.

Cruz, a former member of the George W. Bush legal team and Texas Solicitor General, has authored 70 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and participated in oral arguments before that court nine times.

Ted Cruz came in first at 30 percent, followed by Donald Trump at 25 percent. Sen. Marco Rubio came in third at 19 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (9.7 percent).

Jeb Bush – the former governor of Florida and close relative of two previous presidents – tied with neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 7.9 percent for last place.

Cruz raised the issue of judicial nominees – who, in the case of the Supreme Court, serve for life – at Saturday night's Republican presidential debate on CBS News. “We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that will strike down every restriction on abortion adopted by the states,” he said. “We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans.”

The balance of the court is one of the most important “stakes of this election” for both the White House and the U.S. Senate, which could undermine the Republican majority in that chamber, Sen. Cruz said.

The poll was conducted by Google Consumer Surveys.

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