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Judge Judith Sheindlin, known popularly as Judge Judy, has been dealing with small claims cases on television since the nineties. Of all the judges in the world, she is certainly among the most known household names, despite the fact she generally solves non-complex issues in a simulated courtroom setting and is actually a retired Manhattan family court presider. You would think the average individual would be aware of the circumstances that come with the TV show, but apparently, a portion of people do not. A recent survey determined that a whopping 10% of college graduates think Judge Judy is actually a member of the Supreme Court.
What’s striking about this survey is that it look at random assholes on the street to see if they knew who Judge Judith Sheindlin is. Instead, back in August, the American Council of Trustees and alumni polled 1,000 college graduates, finding them wanting when it comes to information about American history and politics. Here’s the opening summary for the piece, which was recently published and clearly illuminates the issue.
Survey after survey shows that recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage. They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers. They do not know the Father of the Constitution, and nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin—“Judge Judy”—is on the Supreme Court.
To be fair, this report did round up. In reality only 9.6% of people admitted they think that Judge Judy is anything but a character on the hit TV show Judge Judy. I'd prefer that percentage to be zero, but I suppose it could have been worse. Maybe they were mixing her up with one of the other female supreme court judges, like Sonia Sotomayor. Maybe the use of her full name tripped a few poor souls up. Hopefully, no one is mixing Judge Judy up with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as that bitch is fierce. Still nearly 10% is a lot of college graduates who may never have taken a US government or history course in college—or who weren’t paying close attention. These people have degrees!
I suppose we shouldn’t be astounded by the results found in the report. Late night hosts—especially Jimmy Kimmel—love to go to the streets and feed random individuals incorrect information hoping to catch those with a lack of knowledge. Kimmel even has a segment for this called “LieWitness News.” I’m pretty sure the show could make up Supreme Court cases Judge Judy has presided over and people would totally be willing to agree.
Still, 10% is pretty shocking, considering Judge Judy is one of the most popular syndicated programs on TV. About a month ago, another report showed Judge Judy is more popular than Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune and many, many other well-known series. A lot of people are watching, and I guess what I'm saying is, if you don't know all that much about the US government, you probably should still be familiar with Judge Judy.
There were other, non-TV related issues college grads had, including not knowing much about the Constitution or that Representatives only serve two-year terms. If you’d like to look at the failings of our college grads, you can check out the full report here.