The state of the First Amendment is still pretty ill.
But it’s not as bad as it was.
A new survey by the Newseum Institute and USA Today released Friday shows that one in five Americans believes the First Amendment “goes too far.” This pertains to religion, freedom of speech, press, assembly and petition.
This is actually a vast improvement from last year’s survey, which reported that 38 percent of those surveyed said the First Amendment “goes too far.” This year that percentage is down to 19 percent.
The report points out that last year’s survey was taken in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Fear can put at risk even our most cherished freedoms, which protect our right to say, write and believe what we want, and our ability to seek change in how our government operates,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute. “We would do well to consider the trends identified in this survey the next time enemies, foreign or domestic, threaten our way of life. Limiting laws enacted in a time of great fear have a permanence that our immediate reactions to threats do not.”
Another whopping statistic: The 2015 study shows that 70 percent of Americans believe the media is biased. This is reportedly the highest percentage since the survey first asked the question in 1997.
A few other findings: 88 percent of Americans believe citizens should be able to record police activity; 83 percent believe that any footage from police “body cams” should be part of the public record.