10% of college grads think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court

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Another 10% wish she was on the Supreme Court. Maybe in Scalia’s chair?


I’m hoping it just means that 10% of college grads can’t help but answer stupid questions ironically.

I’m hoping.


The exact percentage was 9.6%

I’m curious what the question actually was, because I can’t find it anywhere. If it was a yes/no this is a garbage statistic, if it was a list of people with a “pick the justices from this checklist” it’s misleading, but if people were given the option to say “I don’t know” it a slightly worse than noise.


I thought it was Doctor Oz?

Only 10%? I’d say that college is doing them real good! In all seriousness, colleges and universities are job training facilities. Everyone knows that by now. Sure, historically, they were something more akin to induction into a social class and if you go back far enough they were places where people actually thought big thoughts, but what they are now? Job training centers. You and I and everyone else might wish that they were more than that, but for most undergraduate students, this is a hoop you have to jump through to meet the minimum requirements for a decent job.

More importantly… why pick on college students? They should have learned this in high school. Or are civics and government lessons solely the realm of those who can afford it?


I would have gotten the Jefferson/Maddison thing wrong. I don’t know about the utility of memorizing historical facts. People should know who’s on the court now, but it seems more acceptable to be a bit fuzzy about which long-dead white male slave owner wrote exactly which foundational document. Or perhaps I’m rationalising my own ignorance.

I guess ‘originalists’ might care, but since Jefferson thought the constitution should expire every 20 years, um, irony.


One of these things are not like the other…


The problem with surveys like these is that there is no incentive to get the right answer. So a large percentage of wacky answers are probably from people who just get a kick of picking the wacky answer: “Judge Judy on the Supreme Court, sure why not?”. If people got $10 or something for getting a perfect score or something these would go away.

The Jefferson vs. Madison thing is more believable. I know about Madison probably because I grew up in Madison, WI which is named after him. But most people probably only know the name from Dolly Madison (the snack-food company).


1000 people isn’t a very robust sample…


Quick, name every Supreme Court Justice. Okay, good for you. That pause you took between the eighth and the ninth, while you tried to remember whatsisface, was the point at which the 20-year-old filling out the form just checked the “Judith Scheindlin” box at random.

Madison is the “father of the Constitution” in exactly the same way that any historical figure is the metaphorical father of whatever: debatably. Maybe their history professor assigned Howard Zinn.

Etc. etc. But you know, all that’s fine. Bullshitters gonna do their thing. The people who commissioned this “poll,” the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, are an interesting grab-bag of academic hot-button issues. I guess it’s to their advantage to loft up the idea that college is fundamentally broken. (Which hey, maybe it is. But beware the guy who waves a poll about James Madison in your face to make that point.)

But even separated from the context of ACTA trying to shake loose some foundation money, it just comes off as mean drunk-uncle stuff to circulate this. LOL KIDS TODAY SO DUMB.


Ever since Senator Lott Dod was appointed chairperson of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, college standards have suffered mightily. So this is how liberty dies, on CBS.

How many of the respondents were law school grads? That would be scary.



Better ask the Supremes.


Um, no he really was probably the most influential member of the Federalist party which largely drafted the framework of the US Constitution. But I agree with the basic thrust of your argument, that this survey is bullshit, the methodology opaque and therefore the stats probably massaged to fit their narrative.

Also, I wouldn’t so much say that college is fundamentally broken; rather it’s an integral part of a larger system that’s breaking down under its own institutional inertia, fatalism, greed, political loggerheads and everyone-for-themselves ass-covering.


The only way this would be even eyebrow-raising is if the question read: “Is Judge Judy-- you know, from TV-- a member the Supreme Court?”. And the report would’ve quoted the question if that were the case.

But if only ten percent of these 22-year-olds answered flippantly, or filled out the answer grid in the shape of a boob, or thought “I’ve heard of Judith Sheindlin somewhere, she’s probably a supreme”, then that’s not a bad result at all. I think most people would struggle to name all 14 Supreme Court generals.


Oh sure, no argument. What I was trying to say was more that saying “X is the father of Y” when Y is anything more complicated than assembling flat-pack furniture is kind of on the outs in history. You could make the case that if ACTA were really serious about critical inquiry and the liberal arts, they wouldn’t make college graduates try to answer such an incredibly reductive poll question!


A lot of somewhat sympathetic comments here, but other than students being silly because they don’t respect the survey (which is valid), there’s no reason to mess this one up. There are only three female supreme court justices; if you’ve finished college then you would at least have been in high school when two of them were appointed, and the other is the Notorious RBG.



They were just being optimistic about Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin’s chances of elevation. Obviously.

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