- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Thursday is Constitution Day, marking the anniversary of the moment when the nation’s founding fathers signed that basic and revered document in 1787. Many Americans are not aware of the anniversary, actually a federal observance. They also appear to be Constitutionally challenged. For example, what’s in the Bill of Rights - the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?

About one in 10 Americans - 12 percent - say the Bill of Rights includes the right to own a pet,” according to a new survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

With apologies to all the Labrador Retriever fans, dogs and their ilk do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

A third of Americans also think that the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to own your own home, while one in four thinks that it guarantees “equal pay for equal work,” the survey found.

The public is not too privy about the basic facts about their government, the pollsters say.

Only one in three Americans (31 percent) could name all three branches of the U.S. government, while just as many (32 percent) could not identify even one.
More than one in four Americans (28 percent) incorrectly thinks a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling is sent back either to Congress for reconsideration or to the lower courts for a decision.

“The odds are two times greater that you know the three branches of government if you’ve taken a high school or college civics class than if you haven’t taken any civics courses,” advises Ken Winneg, managing director of survey research at the Annenberg center.

The survey was conducted Aug. 27-31 among 1,012 U.S. adults

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