Poll: Nearly 4 In 10 Americans Can’t Name Any First Amendment Rights

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A recent poll conducted by the University of Pennsylvania finds that residents of the United States are poorly informed about basic constitutional provisions.

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The newly released survey suggests Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment.

According to Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center released Tuesday, 37 percent could not name any of the five rights protected by First Amendment, and just about half (48 percent) could name freedom of speech.

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In addition, the survey found that 33 percent of those polled were unable to name one of the three branches of the U.S. government, such as legislative, executive and judicial. And only 26 percent of the respondents could name the three branches.

“Protecting the rights guaranteed by the Constitution presupposes that we know what they are. The fact that many don’t is worrisome,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “These results emphasize the need for high-quality civics education in the schools and for press reporting that underscores the existence of constitutional protections.”

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