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Poll finds Supreme Court picks a top issue among Wisconsin voters

The TV ads never tell you how much power the next president will have in setting the philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court.

But a new Wisconsin poll says voters are indeed thinking about that.

Eight-percent said the president's picks of Supreme Court nominees is their top issue -- while 39 percent rank it in their Top 5.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies interviewed 500 registered voters in the state last month.

Rick Esenberg of the Marquette Law School said either John McCain or Barack Obama could put a huge stamp on the nation's highest court well beyond their tenures.

Esenberg said six of the nine justices will be at least 70 years old when next fall's term begins.

President Bush nominated two justices in his eight years, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

According to Esenberg, the Republican McCain leans toward judges who uphold the tenets of the Constitution while the Democrat Obama would look for nominees who can empathize with minority groups and their concerns.