Americans are clueless about the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch looks over a document as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

If history is any guide, within a short time after Neil Gorsuch is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, most Americans will have no idea who Neil Gorsuch is.

And by history, I mean the present where most Americans can’t name a single justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not one.

The new poll from C-SPAN isn’t a fluke. Previous surveys have also revealed the utter cluelessness of Americans when it comes to their government, in which most Americans can’t name the three branches of government and a third can’t even name one (spoiler alert: The judiciary is one of them).

The majority of those surveyed — about 65 percent — say they follow stories from the Supreme Court somewhat or very often. Seventy percent of them say they get most of their Supreme Court news from TV.

Ninety percent of those surveyed say they the Supreme Court has an impact on every day life, which makes one wonder about the lives led by the 10 percent who disagree with that assertion.

But asked to name a single justice on the court, and most of those polled are stumped.


Fifty-seven percent said they hear about enough or too much about the court.

Curiously, 82 percent of those surveyed said the Supreme Court appointee of a president was an issue they considered when deciding for whom to vote.

But Americans are getting a head start on ignoring the likely next member of the Court. Seventy-percent could not name him.

Forty-three percent approved of whatshisname’s nomination to the court, however.