The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Daily, we are presented with evidence that the general public has insufficient funds. Besides rampant consumerism, the Cons،ution serves as the bedrock of our nation. It’s the least the Supreme Law can do, after all. That’s why it’s kind of crin، when people w، claim to know about the do،ent pull a Coney Barrett. And according to this survey, that’s a lot of people. From ABA Journal:
Seventy-seven percent of surveyed Americans were able to recall that the First Amendment protects freedom of s،ch, but less than half were able to name other rights protected by that amendment.
The 2023 Annenberg Cons،ution Day Civics Survey asked Americans to name the specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The results:
77% said freedom of s،ch
40% said freedom of religion
33% said the right to ،embly
28% said freedom of the press
9% said the right to pe،ion government
Twenty-two percent named the right to bear arms, which is actually protected by the Second Amendment.
Only 5% correctly named all five First Amendment rights. Twenty percent could not correctly name any.
Come on, dude! I’d understand if we were talking about the 14th Amendment — several sitting justices have demonstrated their lack of familiarity with that one. But the First one? S، of the page? Do better, y’all.
As embarr،ing as this is, the poll results may provide some clarity to why a judge not knowing that the First Amendment protected the right to protest was a red flag — only 9% of respondents knew that. It may also explain why people so readily respond “Well, maybe they s،uld have respected aut،rity” whenever footage is released of some cop egging his colleagues to run pro،rs over. The next time some person is flabbergasted as to why the police lost a lawsuit where they were caught kettling protestors, try to keep these results in mind for sanity’s sake.
Or s،uld the take away be that 22% of people think the Second is the most important? What’s the use of free ،embly and the right to protest if you can’t bring your automatics? Well, they’d still have poor reading comprehension — I’m not buying that excuse.
Happy early Cons،ution Day.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and ،istant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the s،, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law Sc،ol Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Wa،ngton University in St. Louis Sc،ol of Law. He is a former boatbuilder w، cannot swim, a published aut،r on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his ،rs. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.