And Yet, These People Are Allowed To Vote…

Not that I would ever suggest that any American be deprived of the rights under the Constitution and within the limits of the law to vote, it seems to me that at least a basic level of awareness of the contemporary issues and knowledge of government would be helpful in achieving good governance. This poll, conducted by and reported in the Wall Street Journal indicates that maybe our electorate isn’t as “with it” as you would hope. It finds that two out of three Americans polled could not name a single Supreme Court Justice – not a single one. With nine to choose from , they could not name even single, solitary one.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent landmark rulings on health care and immigration have made the nation’s highest court a topic at kitchen tables, coffee shops, and water coolers across the country.

The most well-known member of the court was Chief Justice John Roberts, the survey showed. But even Justice Roberts could only be named by 20% of the respondents.

The most anonymous member of the court, according to the survey, was Stephen Breyer, with 3% of respondents naming him. Justices Anthony Kennedy (10%), Samuel Alito (5%) and Elena Kagan (4%) each were named by 10% or fewer of the people surveyed.

But even with all that debate over the Supreme Court and its rulings,  two-thirds of Americans can’t name any justices, according to a survey released Monday by, a legal information Web site.

How in God’s name can an electorate make intelligent choices when they know so little about government? You would think that at least the Obamacare decision, that something as controversial as that would have at least caused more to at least know the name of one Justice.

With statistics like this it is no wonder that people don’t understand John Locke or our founding documents. I guess to them what happened on Jersey Shore last week or if Tom and Katie are sharing custody of Suri are the most important issue of the day.

8 thoughts on “And Yet, These People Are Allowed To Vote…

    • I have to agree – 80% of cable “news” is recycled crap and “human interest” stories and fluff. They rush stories so fast to beat the other guy, there is no depth and the accuracy suffers.

    • Yay! I knew there was some reason why we cancelled cable. Well, that and all the horrible reality shows confirming our culture’s implosion and luring me to watch the trainwreck in action . . .

      • nooneofanyimport – you hit the nail on the head. The prolific rise of “reality shows” has lead myself to walk from the television set. My rationale: Why watch someone else live their lives, when I can live my own?

        It silliness personified.

        But then there is NCAA football …… God Bless the SEC. 🙂

    • I cede the point. TV is pretty much garbage, and so is most websites. Talk radio, and it’s taxpayer funded counter part NPR offer more of substance to listen to.

      The poll is interesting however, that mere tenths of points separate those you have pointed out though. Maybe the cable folks are not that far off base in the passing of knowledge.

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