Judith Sheindlin poses for a portrait in Los Angeles on Feb. 14. 1997.
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
By Lauren French
January 20, 2016

A poll conducted last summer revealed that one in 10 adults think Judge Judy is a Supreme Court Justice, a finding the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) calls a “crisis in civic education.”

The poll used Judge Judy’s given name, Judith Sheindlin, in its question. She is a former family court judge, but she has never served on the Supreme Court.

The poll goes on to show that only 28% of college graduates surveyed know James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution,” and less than half of the respondents knew how Americans amend the Constitution. Fewer than 50% of college grads knew presidential impeachments are tried before the Senate.

ACTA is a non-profit organization that works to ensure the next generation receives quality education. It commissioned research firm GfK to conduct the poll of 1,000 American adults and college graduates in August, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

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