Sunday is Constitution Day
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:00am

This Sunday is Constitution Day.
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. We encourage all Americans to observe this important day in our nation's history by attending local events in your area. Celebrate Constitution Day through activities, learning, parades and demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us.

Every year, the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania conducts a Constitution Day Civics Survey. The results are, sadly, unsurprising:
• More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution;
• More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment;
• Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government.

Illegal immigration and constitutional rights

The APPC survey, conducted Aug. 9-13 among 1,013 adults in the United States, finds that 53 percent think that people who are here illegally do not have any rights under the Constitution. That incorrect belief is especially strong among self-identified political conservatives – 67 percent think it is accurate, compared with 48 percent of moderates and 46 percent of liberals.

In fact, immigrants who are in the United States illegally share some constitutional protections with U.S. citizens. More than a century ago, in Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1886), a case involving an undocumented Chinese immigrant, the Supreme Court ruled that non-citizens were entitled to due process rights under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. (For more on Yick Wo, see this video on Annenberg Classroom’s website.)

Most respondents, though not all, know that under the Constitution, U.S. citizens who are atheists or Muslim have the same rights as all other citizens. Seventy-nine percent of respondents know it is accurate to say that U.S. citizens who are atheists have the same rights as other citizens, and 76 percent know it is accurate to say that citizens who are Muslim have the same rights as other citizens.

What does the First Amendment say?

Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights. And far fewer people could name the other First Amendment rights: 15 percent of respondents say freedom of religion; 14 percent say freedom of the press; 10 percent say the right of assembly; and only 3 percent say the right to petition the government.

Many don’t know the branches of government

Only 26 percent of respondents can name the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative), the same result as last year. People who identified themselves as conservatives were significantly more likely to name all three branches correctly than liberals and moderates. The 26 percent total was down significantly from APPC’s first survey on this question, in 2011, when 38 percent could name all three.

    • Those who wasted their time in schoolPikes, Sun Sep 17 4:17am
      and never learned this because their priorities were dedicated to mischief of the moment to relieve the boredom from forced, unwanted, captive learning are the same who as adults can't answer those... more
    • It's really a sad state of affairs (nm)Sia☺giah, Sun Sep 17 12:20am
    • Yes, due process means beingSprout, Fri Sep 15 10:35am
      properly and legally deported for criminally entering the United States in violation of our laws. Not a right to stay. And nowhere does the constitution guarantee them a right to stay WHILE awaiting... more
      • I know of some "Dreamers" in my area.PH👁👁EY, Sun Sep 17 9:07am
        They are cannabis cultivators. That does not concern me. It's a agricultural product from my perspective and is vital to this area's economy. But none of them are serious about studies or going to... more