Stockton survey finds New Jerseyans are dangerously ignorant

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

These brand new results from a Stockton University survey – Understanding the United States Constitution and the Supreme Court: A Survey of New Jerseyans – may not shock you, Save Jerseyans, but they’re guaranteed to depress the heck out of you on the historic 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination (who we voted against twice, btw).

Ostrich man head in sandHere’s a word-for-word summary of the key findings:

  • More than half of New Jerseyans (54%) could not name a single Supreme Court Justice (those justices most frequently named were Sonia Sotomayor (13%), John Roberts (12%) and Antonin Scalia (11%)).
  • 62% of respondents did not know how many justices (nine) serve on the Supreme Court. • Only 26% were able to name John Roberts as the Chief Justice (46% could correctly identify him from a list that included his name).
  • 60% were under the misimpression that our Constitution was amended to guarantee explicit protection against discrimination based on sex (in fact, the Equal Rights Amendment has never been added to our Constitution).
  • Only 52% identified the Judiciary as the branch of the federal government that has the power to declare state and federal laws unconstitutional. Notably, 24% were unsure or did not know; 6% believed the Executive branch could do so and 18% believed the Legislature could do so.
  • Only 56% knew that decisions by the Supreme Court cannot be appealed to the President of the United States for review and reversal; 32% of respondents believed this is possible and 12% were not sure or did not know.
  • 60% knew that the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are called the Bill of Rights, but 35% were not sure or did not know and 5% stated an incorrect answer.
  • 29% of respondents identified freedom of speech as one of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment; 22 % identified freedom of religion; 20% identified freedom of assembly and 20% identified freedom of the press. 10 % of New Jersey adults could not name or were not sure about what freedoms are guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Is it any wonder why we vote stupid when the general population is almost completely civics-stupid?

Click here to see the full survey results.

Ignorance starts early, too. A pathetically-low 56% of respondents, 62% of whom Stockton says attended K-12 school exclusively in New Jersey, said they’ve never sat through a class or course focusing on the U.S. Constitution or the U.S. Supreme Court.

What they are learning in our institutions of public mis-education? As we’ve discussed many times, Save Jerseyans, it’s nothing good. Or useful. Assuming, of course, we’re trying to keep a civilization going!

God help us…

38 thoughts on “Stockton survey finds New Jerseyans are dangerously ignorant

  1. That is horrible, I think people should know how government works before being allowed to vote. The low information voters are detrimental to the Republic.

  2. “Only 52% identified the Judiciary as the branch of the federal government that has the power to declare state and federal laws unconstitutional.” – State laws? Does the Tenth Amendment not exist?

  3. A :Smoke, mirrors, and deception. Q: what are the only three plays in the Democrat playbook?

  4. If everything is based in race to them, then they are racists. They must not have any mirrors.

  5. Look at the threads on the newspaper sites or even on FB, these folks volunteered their ignorance as opposed to being sought out by a survey. I always thank my parents for sending me to Catholic school. We had over a month on the Constitution and landmark cases.

  6. They needed a study to see this.? Exactly what Roger Stryeski said, just look at FB or other posts. Scary ignorant

  7. Civics should be taught in schools. I wonder how NJ compares to the rest of the country. And of course you get the thinly veiled racial references by singling out Camden and Newark, an ignorance in its own right. See Justin’s comment above.

  8. and that has what to do with people not knowing how their gov. works? Also, YOU might want to do a little reading of history, my friend. What you describe sounds more like todays’ “progressive”!

  9. No excuse … But go ask others states the same questions … Just as “ignorant”.

  10. So true! No wonder our politicians on both sides are such crony capitalists and could care less about the constitution, or their constituents. They know the people are too out of touch to hold them accountable.

  11. What a shock: In my school district the students did not engage in the US Government after a short burst in eighth grade. The only way that they were given any government was if they took AP Government I the 12th grade. We graduated people who had no idea about the institution that they were soon to be qualified to vote upon.

  12. When they keep changing the tests they give to kids and only teach for testing what can you expect?

  13. Benjamin, it appears that you need a refresher. The states can create their own laws, which can be declared unconstitutional if they are unconstitutional, ie violate the constitution. If New Jersey legalizes murder, the Judiciary branch can and will declare it unconstitutional, because it violates the constitution. The state obviously would not be allowed to keep the law.

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