Nearly 10 percent of college graduates think television’s Judge Judy serves on the Supreme Court, according to a new report released this month.
The report, titled "A Crisis in Civic Education," was based on a survey of 1,000 adults in August and concludes that "recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America's history and heritage.”
"They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers," the report said, referring to college graduates.
The lack of civic knowledge extended to the Supreme Court, where 9.6 percent of college graduates incorrectly identified Judith Sheindlin — who handles small legal disputes on the TV show "Judge Judy" — as a justice. Another 5.5 percent of college grads picked John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE, the former senator who is now secretary of State, as a member of the court.
Of those surveyed, the report found only 28.4 percent of college graduates identified James Madison as the father of the Constitution, while 59.2 percent thought the answer was Thomas Jefferson.
Nearly 40 percent of college graduates didn't know Congress has the power to declare war and less than 50 percent of the college graduates surveyed were aware that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which released the report, said the results of the survey show students are being short-changed.
“Instead of demanding content-based coursework, our institutions have, in too many places, supplanted the rigorous study of history and government — the building blocks of civic engagement — with community-service activities,” the report says.