Can You Name a Supreme Court Justice? (Would You Want To?)
Quick — name a sitting Supreme Court justice. If you can do that, congratulations. You’re in the vast minority of Americans.
Despite recent high-profile rulings, a new survey from legal information site FindLaw revealed only about a third of US citizens can name one of the nine justices currently on the bench.
That’s pretty embarrassing, but maybe there’s a good explanation.
“Court sessions are conducted without TV cameras and deliberations take place behind closed doors,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor at FindLaw. “So while the decisions often have significant and lasting impact, the justices themselves are generally not very visible nor well known to the public as individuals.”
People who could rattle off a name most often mentioned Chief Justice John Roberts, followed by conservative firebrands Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — two of the three female justices — rounded out the top five.
And just in case you’re ever on ‘Jeopardy!’ and need to know, the other four are Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. John Roberts, by the way, ensured his place in history by being the deciding vote, with his controversial (and many experts say-wrong) opinion on Obamacare being constitutional.