Oy vey! 1 in 10 college grads believe Judge Judy is a Supreme Court justice

A survey entitled "A crisis in civil education" outlined the lack of understanding and knowledge of American history, heritage and government in the US.

January 21, 2016 08:55
1 minute read.
Judge Judith Sheindlin

Judge Judith Sheindlin. (photo credit: STEPHEN LOVEKIN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)


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Nearly one in ten college graduates believe Judge Judith Sheindlin is one of the nine justices serving in the Unites States Supreme Court according to a recent survey conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

The survey results entitled, "A crisis in civil education," published on Tuesday outlined the pressing issues in American civic education and the lack of understanding and knowledge of American history, heritage and government within the United States academic community. 1,000 college graduates over the age of 18 were surveyed using questions from high school level civics courses with an emphasis on the US government and Constitution.

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When asked to mark the names of the nine current Supreme Court justices, "9.6% of college graduates marked that Judith Sheindlin—“Judge Judy”—was on the Supreme Court," according to the report.

Sheindlin, a lawyer, former judge, television personality, producer, and author, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942 to Jewish parents. She is currently the star of the arbitration-based afternoon television show Judge Judy, in which she handles real-life small claim disputes in a simulated courtroom on CBS Television. The show is now in it's 20th season and has over 5,400 episodes.

Sixty-percent of respondents incorrectly identified Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Constitution while only 20 percent correctly identified James Madison, "despite the fact that Jefferson, as US ambassador to France, was not present during the Constitutional Convention," according to the report.

Additionally, 40 % of those surveyed did not know that Congress can declare war or that presidential impeachment cases are tried  before the US Senate.

The report concluded with a call for academic reform across the entire spectrum of US education from first grade to the university level.

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