With a Senate hearing underway to consider confirming a new justice, that national treasure C-SPAN has commissioned another one of its timely polls on the Supreme Court.
The results are disheartening.
The verdict confirms that the nation’s education system needs to rethink its civics instruction or even bring it back. Because these schools have turned out a couple generations of clueless clods who are still perversely eligible to vote.
Here’s a sampling of the results from 1,011 Likely Voters, many of whom shouldn’t be allowed to:
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44 percent of the voters don’t know that the three branches of government are co-equal. (In case you’re one of those people, the branches are the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial.)
Of the 44 percent who believe the branches are not equal, half (51 percent) think the Executive has the most power, a quarter (26 percent) believe the Legislative has the most clout, and an ignorant 23 percent think it’s the Judiciary.
Nearly half (46 percent) say the Supreme Court is a partisan institution.
61 percent claim they are closely following Joe Biden’s Court nominee.
However, 72 percent of those same voters are lying. They have no idea who the nominee is up for the confirmation. (If you’re in that crowd, her name is Ketanji Brown Jackson and the hearing continues today live on C-SPAN.)
Also, fully 85 percent are unaware that the nominee is a black female judge. Which means Joe Biden might not reap quite as much political credit as he figured when he simply ruled out all other kinds, colors, and genders of Americans in his secretive selection process.
58 percent of the voters think this Senate confirmation process is not an “effective and fair tool” for approving Court nominees or they have no idea about it.
In case you weren’t taught math well either, that means only 42 percent think the ongoing Senate confirmation is effective and fair.
Voters don’t really keep up much with Supreme Court outcomes either. The best-known decision, as you might imagine because it’s the only one liberal media ever talk about, was Roe vs Wade. That’s the one that found a right to abortion in the Constitution that took effect 234 years ago this June.
The historic and unanimous Brown vs Board of Education decision not so much. Only six percent knew about the 1954 ruling that found racial segregation in public schools violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and, in effect, forced reform of public schools so people like Judge Jackson could attain a proper public education.
No one in the survey knows much about existing Court members. The best-known justice is Clarence Thomas (24 percent). He’s the black one. And then John Roberts (22 percent), the boss one who’s white, of course.
These Likely Voters may not know much of anything about the Supreme Court. But 84 percent say they are certain that its decisions affect their lives.
Of course, this could also mean either they think they’ll look smarter by lying. Or more likely, being American voters, they’re just too lazy to bother learning more about the institution.
The poll did offer a handful of hope. Nearly six-in-10 (59 percent) said the Court would be better if its members did not all come from the same law schools in the Northeast.
They thought instead of a lifetime appointment, an 18-year-term would be better. And to show how unrealistically idealistic they are about government institutions in Washington, more than seven-out-of-10 voters said the Court should have a Code of Ethics for its members.
Respondents liked the idea of the Court permitting audio of oral arguments, which it allowed two years ago as a pandemic adjustment.
And since C-SPAN was paying Pierrepont Analytics to do the survey, the company also asked if TV cameras should be allowed in the Court. Wait for it! Fully 65 percent said Yes, while 70 percent said live TV coverage would help build trust in the institution — just like it has in Congress.
Perhaps the most interesting poll result was that 92 percent would watch the Supreme Court operate if it was a weekly show on Fox News with Judge Jeanine presiding.
No, just kidding. I made that one up to see if you’re still paying attention.
We are adjourned.