Sur­vey: Many ig­no­rant of Con­sti­tu­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Ken Shep­herd

A new sur­vey re­leased just ahead of the 230th an­niver­sary of the close of the Con­sti­tu­tional Con­ven­tion shows that nearly four in 10 Amer­i­cans can­not name a sin­gle right pro­tected by the First Amend­ment.

The sur­vey, con­ducted in Au­gust by the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s An­nen­berg Pub­lic Pol­icy Cen­ter (APPC) and re­leased this week, showed 37 per­cent could not name any of the five rights pro­tected by First Amend­ment, and only 48 per­cent could name free­dom of speech.

What’s more, the same sur­vey found some 33 per­cent of Amer­i­cans were un­able to name even one of the three branches of the U.S. govern­ment: leg­isla­tive, ex­ec­u­tive and ju­di­cial.

“Pro­tect­ing the rights guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion pre­sup­poses that we know what

they are. The fact that many don’t is wor­ri­some,” APPC Di­rec­tor Kath­leen Hall Jamieson said in a news re­lease.

The APPC’s sur­vey found that some 53 per­cent of re­spon­dents er­ro­neously be­lieve that il­le­gal im­mi­grants are af­forded no pro­tec­tions un­der the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, while 15 per­cent of re­spon­dents said athe­ists did not have all the same rights as other U.S. cit­i­zens. Eigh­teen per­cent said Mus­lims do not have all the same rights as other U.S. cit­i­zens.

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