CYBERSPACE—A poll by FindLaw.com has found that two-thirds of respondents could not name one sitting Supreme Court Justice. If the same group of people had been asked if they could name one porn star, our guess is that more than two-thirds would have been able to do so successfully. It’s a not so irrational argument for appointing Sasha Gray to SCOTUS as soon as her Entourage gig is over, even before a seat becomes available. Someone needs to be the face of the court.
“Only small percentages of Americans were able to name the various justices and only 1 percent could correctly name all nine,” Tanya Roth reported on FindLaw.com. “Despite her recent and highly visible confirmation hearings, the nation's first Latina justice, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, could be correctly identified by only 15 percent of those polled"
The numbers for the remaining justices were:
* Clarence Thomas – 19 percent
* John Roberts (Chief Justice) – 16 percent
* Ruth Bader Ginsburg – 13 percent
* Antonin Scalia – 10 percent
* Samuel Alito – 8 percent
* John Paul Stevens – 8 percent
* Anthony Kennedy – 6 percent
* Stephen Breyer – 3 percent
Not everyone is alarmed. Findlaw columnist Michael C. Dorf opined that the court is generally known as a collective body rather than a collection of individuals. Justices get their “15 minutes” of fame when they go through the confirmation process and then tend to fade into the background. Other knowledge gaps are of far more concern to Dorf, who has clerked on the high court.
"What is a source for concern are polls consistently showing that many Americans are unfamiliar with basic features of our constitutional system," he said.
Not a problem. Glenn Beck is filling in those particular holes in our education every evening quite nicely.
Or, as Roth suggests, cameras could finally be allowed to capture Supreme Court proceedings, bringing the justices into our homes on a regular basis, similar to how C-SPAN has made congressional deliberations and hearings accessible, in the process publicizing individual members. Okay, maybe not the best idea.