It’s something out of a Christopher Buckley novel. Ten percent of U.S. college graduates think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court of the United States. Yet, it’s actually from a rather damning report on American civic knowledge, according to a new report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (via the Hill):
The report, titled "A Crisis in Civic Education," was based on a survey of 1,000 adults in August and concludes that "recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America's history and heritage.”
"They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers," the report said, referring to college graduates.
The lack of civic knowledge extended to the Supreme Court, where 9.6 percent of college graduates incorrectly identified Judith Sheindlin — who handles small legal disputes on the TV show "Judge Judy" — as a justice. Another 5.5 percent of college grads picked John Kerry, the former senator who is now secretary of State, as a member of the court.
Of those surveyed, the report found only 28.4 percent of college graduates identified James Madison as the father of the Constitution, while 59.2 percent thought the answer was Thomas Jefferson.
Nearly 40 percent of college graduates didn't know Congress has the power to declare war and less than 50 percent of the college graduates surveyed were aware that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.
Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a Buckley novel, though his satire Supreme Courtship is about a U.S. president who nominates a television judge for the nation’s top legal spot. At the same time, the fact that also half of college graduates didn’t know Congress has the power to declare war, term lengths, or separation of powers is disturbing. Not knowing the substance of the First Amendment, sadly, isn’t surprising with the epic progressive temper tantrums occurring on campuses across the country.
But seriously, Judge Judy on the Supreme Court…has it really come to this?