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Published On: Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

Americans become more oblivious to the First Amendment

According to some sad and shameful results from a recent Newseum Institute poll, thirty-three percent of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Photo of the US Constitution taken in the rotunda of the National Archives photo Mr. T in DC via Flickr

Photo of the US Constitution taken in the rotunda of the National Archives photo Mr. T in DC via Flickr

When we look at the survey in more detail, Americans are growing more oblivious to the Constitutional guarantees provided by what some believe to be the more important and cherished of the Bill of Rights.

When asked to name the five specific freedoms in the First Amendment, 57% of Americans name freedom of speech, followed by 19% who say the freedom of religion, 10% mention the freedom of the press, 10% mention the right to assemble, and 2% name the right to petition.

These numbers have dropped across the board compared to last year– Those naming freedom of speech decreased from 68 to 57%, freedom of religion decreased from 29 to 19%, and freedom of the press declined from 14 to 10%.

The questionnaire was administered to a national sample of 1,002 American adults by telephone. The questionnaire was developed by Dr. Ken Dautrich, President of The Stats Group and Gene Policinski, Chief Operating Officer of the Newseum Institute. The survey was conducted from May 14 through 23, 2015.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Infographic: 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey findings/Newseum

Infographic: 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey findings/Newseum

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Former Telemarketer says:

    I worked as a telemarketer asking these kind of survey questions years ago. The people who answer your questions are consistently one of these four groups:
    1) Extremely distracted people cooking and watching TV
    2) Extremely stupid people who cannot help but answer questions if you keep asking em
    3) People intentionally messing with you all the way through.
    4) Very elderly or disabled individuals who are heavily medicated and foggy.
    On top of that, those calls are supposed to go solely to landlines belong to a dwindling and older demographic and are mostly placed during business hours, so those polled are the sort of people you find sitting at home watching TV at noon on a Tuesday.
    TL;DR- Phone poll research is almost completely useless and the data collected is almost completely meaningless

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