Americans Don’t Know What the First Amendment Says

While most Americans correctly say that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment, they can’t name the other rights contained therein.

The First Amendment Center’s yearly survey finds that when asked what freedoms the First Amendment provides for, 68% of Americans correctly say freedom of speech. However, it’s all downhill from there.

29% identify freedom of religion, 14% can name freedom of the press. Just 7% say the right to assemble and a paltry 1% can say freedom to petition. 

29% can’t name any of the freedoms in the First Amendment, but that number has dropped from 36% last year

Other findings from the survey:

  • 38% say the First Amendment goes too far in protecting rights, which is up from 34% in 2013.
  • 41% of Americans say the news media reports without bias.
  • 69% say people who make defamatory comments on social media should face the same legal consequences as someone who makes a similar statement in print or on TV.