Most Of America Is Just As Dumb As Amy Coney Barrett

Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Amy Coney Barrett To Be Supreme Court Justice

(Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)

How well do Americans understand their rights? Not very well at all!

The disturbing results from the 2023 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey revealed some pretty massive holes in basic knowledge of the Constitution. They asked respondents to name the specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment — the easiest of all the Amendments to master, IMHO.

The results:

  • 77% said freedom of speech
  • 40% said freedom of religion
  • 33% said the right to assembly
  • 28% said freedom of the press
  • 9% said the right to petition government

Only 5 percent got them all. Twenty percent knew none of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, and a disturbing 22 percent thought the right to bear arms was covered by the 1A — that’s the Second Amendment folks, which I’d like to think is obvious, but this survey is out here proving me wrong.

But, if you’re one of the 95 percent of Americans that don’t know the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment, fear not! You can still have a high powered career — and one in the legal field to boot! Legal nerds will recall then-nominee Amy Coney Barrett struggled to list the First Amendment freedoms in her confirmation hearing.

Of course, that translated to little more than a hiccup in her elevation to the High Court. To be fair, I’d have traded incomplete knowledge of the First Amendment for a robust understanding of reproductive freedom, but with Barrett we got neither.

Earlier: Survey Says At Least 22% Of Public’s Constitutional Knowledge Is Just Vibes

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @[email protected].

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