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Poll: Majority can’t name a single Supreme Court justice

Author: Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner - August 28, 2018 - Updated: August 28, 2018

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In this 2017 file photo, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for an official group portrait to include new Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, top row, far right, at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Seated, front row, from left are, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Back row, standing, from left are, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Gorsuch. Gorsuch became the Supreme Court’s newest member a year ago on April 10, 2017 . President Donald Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia has now heared more than 60 cases on issues including gerrymandering, union fees, cellphone and data privacy and gambling on sports. He’s written his first Supreme Court opinions but also dealt with his first complaint as a member of the court’s cafeteria committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

Nearly every voter in the nation believes that the U.S. Supreme Court impacts their everyday life, but a majority can’t name a single justice on the all-important bench, according to a new survey.

The C-SPAN survey, which again found wide support for televised oral arguments, said that 91 percent answered “Yes” when asked if, “Decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have an impact on my everyday life as a citizen.”

What’s more, the survey said that seven of 10 are plugged in and paying attention to President Trump’s nomination of Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

But when it comes to knowing the name of a justice, the public falls short, with 52 percent unable to name one of the nine justices.

The most well-known is liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was the focus of the documentary ” RBG.” Some 25 percent could name her.

Next up were Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts, at 14 percent.

C-SPAN’s survey, done by PSB Research, said that 64 percent support televised arguments. The TV-supported public affairs outlet has long pushed to put TV cameras in the court. The finding showed less support than in 2015 when the last poll on the subject found that 76 percent backed TV cameras.

“Two in three American citizens who have an opinion think the U.S. Supreme Court is a partisan political body similar to Congress and those numbers are rising,” said Robert Green, of PSB. “More Americans get their information on the high court from TV and online media today than ever before. The easiest way to convey to the public that the Supreme Court takes its responsibilities seriously as a constitutional court would be to permit Americans to view the Court oral arguments unfiltered through TV or online,” he added.

The drop might be attributed to the feeling among voters that the court is too political and doesn’t act in a sound or serious manner.

The survey analysis said that 56 percent of voters believe that are split on political grounds like Congress.

And just 28 percent said that the court “acts in a serious and constitutionally sound manner.”

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner