A newly-published report shows that almost 10 percent of America’s college graduates think Judge Judy is a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Among other lowlights, the report shows that almost 60 percent of college grads have no idea how to amend the Constitution. Also, nearly half of the people who have earned bachelor’s degrees in this country don’t realize that U.S. senators serve six-year terms while members of the U.S. House of Representatives serve two-year terms.
The January 2016 report is from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).
“Many of the figures may actually understate how poorly our colleges are doing because older respondents performed significantly better than younger ones,” the ACTA report explains. “For example, 98.2% of college graduates over the age of 65 knew that the president cannot establish taxes — but only 73.8% of college graduates aged 25–34 answered correctly.”
Similarly, though most college graduates who are 65 or older know how to amend the Constitution, less than a third of college grads between the ages of 25 and 34 appear to have any basic understanding of the process. (RELATED: UN Ambassador Samantha Power Tells Fancypants College Grads How Afghanistan Is Superior To USA)And just one-third of all Americans can name a single right guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The ACTA survey question (No. 1 out of 12) demonstrating that America’s college graduates are colossal idiots when it comes the U.S. Supreme Court asks: “Which of the following people serves on the U.S. Supreme Court?”
On the bright side, 61.6 percent of America’s college graduates (and 44 percent of Americans of all education levels) correctly selected Elena Kagan.
And now for the dismal news: 9.6 percent of college grads (and 13.1 percent of everyone) selected Judith Sheindlin — better known as Judge Judy. Almost 6 percent of America’s college grads said Secretary of State John Kerry is a Supreme Court justice. Meanwhile, 21.7 percent selected Lawrence Warren Pierce, a retired, 91-year-old Second Circuit judge.
Past ACTA surveys show that the nation is quickly going to hell in a handbasket because Americans don’t know jack about the basic workings of their government.
“A survey published early in 2015 found that over one-third could not place the Civil War within the correct 20-year time frame,” for example.
ACTA is a bipartisan group that promotes a broad core curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences and general academic seriousness on U.S. college campuses.
“In today’s world, when so many nations are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to incorporate different ethnic, religious, and racial groups, the case for reminding Americans of their history in our museums and in our schools and colleges and universities . . . could not be stronger especially as that history conveys our nation’s stunning successful recipe, based on the documents of our founding, for an inclusive and tolerant society,” New-York Historical Society president Louise Mirrer said in 2014 while accepting an ACTA award.
Judge Judy — Sheindlin — is a retired family court judge who presides abrasively over her own highly-rated daytime reality show in which she dresses like a real judge and arbitrates small-claims court cases in the format of a bench trial.
Sheindlin earned her law degree from New York Law School in 1965. She served as a real judge in New York City from 1982 to 1996.
The statistics in the ACTA report are based on an August 2015 survey of a total of 1,000 adults across America. GfK, a large market research firm, conducted the survey and weighted it in several categories including race, age, education and income.