Poll: Ten Percent of College Graduates Believe Judge Judy Is On The Supreme Court

220px-Judge_Judy_next_to_paintingWe will occasionally have polls that leave me deeply depressed and the recent poll, conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, is such a case. When college graduates were asked, ten percent said that they believe Judith Sheindlin, aka “Judge Judy,” serves on the Supreme Court. That’s right, Judge Judy.

I am admittedly not a fan of faux television judges who, in my view, degrade our profession and trivialize the legal process. (here and here). Judge Judy and other faux judges caricature the legal system and misrepresent how conflicts are legally addressed. They use people as if they were circus animals performing for the entertainment of the public. The fact that anyone would even confuse Judge Judy with a real jurist is incredibly depressing. It has about as much basis as believing Judge Dredd is on the Supreme Court. However, CNN and other networks routinely ask her to comment on legal issues as if she were anything other than an entertainer. The merging of law and entertainment does not produce some hybrid. It simply produces entertainment like an dominant social gene.

Joe LewisFor the record, Judge Judy was once an actual judge.  In 1982 Mayor Ed Koch appointed her as a judge, first in criminal court, then later as Manhattan‘s supervising family court judge in 1986.  However, that is about as relevant as saying that Joe Lewis (left)  was once a real police officer before becoming a circus clown cop.

440px-Supreme_Court_US_2010This is not to say that Justices cannot sometimes act like Judge Judy in departing from the record or holding forth on their views of issues beyond the immediate legal question. However, the last time I checked, Judge Judy did not make it into the annual Court portrait.

The survey also found that only 28.4% of college graduates correctly identify the father of the Constitution as James Madison. Some 40% of college graduates appear unaware that Congress has the power to declare war.

Source: CNN

46 thoughts on “Poll: Ten Percent of College Graduates Believe Judge Judy Is On The Supreme Court”

  1. By allowing virtually unlimited government loans for higher education, we have frustrated Darwinism.


  2. What did you expect would happen when admissions are often based on ‘diversity’ rather than ability?

    Now you have a ‘diverse’ opinion on Judge Judy. Live with it.

    By the way, she would likely be a better justice than Sotomayor (The Wise Latina) or Kagan.

  3. Olly

    No takers, eh. No minerals or stomach for the losing end of an argument. When you believe in something you have to dive in, win or lose.

  4. This poll is merely an indication of the idealism of today’s college students. The students would just LIKE to see Judy Sheindlin on the SCOTUS, a judge with integrity, fairness, and an understanding of the law — instead of the disingenuous political hacks currently on the SC.

  5. First of all, it’s just not possible to degrade the legal profession any further, it’s as low as it can go with all its low morals, illegal, corrupt and contemptible conduct. Most people already now that except maybe some of the tards that frequent this blog.

    That being said, I think I saw Elvis in a black robe hanging around the Malevolent sUpreme cOurt last year.

  6. Why doesn’t Turley post something regarding the domestic terrorists in Oregon and their right to bear arms vis a vis criminals bearing arms.

    Why don’t you get your own blog and then you can post about anything you want. WordPress.com

  7. LOL! Yeah L’Observer, I’m sure that was it. Kind of like Obama’s weakness is he simply doesn’t explain things in a way that would make everyone agree with him. Stupid people just don’t see his brilliance. Our past weekend contributors were unpopular because the readers were too stupid to get it.

    isaac would fit right in.

  8. Olly,

    You almost had it. It’s more of a case of a lack of brains in the readership.

  9. isaac,
    Why don’t you write it up and submit it to JT? Perhaps he will make you a weekend contributor. We used to have a few of them regularly contribute on the weekends but they have not been seen of late. It might have something to do their lack of readership. Darren has been a great contributor.

  10. Why doesn’t Turley post something regarding the domestic terrorists in Oregon and their right to bear arms vis a vis criminals bearing arms. We are missing out on some good exchanges here. Judge Judy, fudge Judge Judy. She probably could do no better or worse than the present Supreme Court Judges.

  11. I swear to god, one of Turley’s kids does the posting around here. Get a look at Turley’s ‘most recent’ photo of the court.


  12. Well, well, well JT. Looks like you, having been criticized for purposely omitting Judge Judy’s vast amount of legal experience from your original version of the article, has stirred you to now amend your article, adding that you acknowledge that Judith Sheindlin was ONCE an actual judge. Wrong again, JT. Why is it so difficult, at least in this instance, for you to actually tell the truth? I simply don’t get it. She wasn’t ONCE an actual judge–she was the supervising judge in Manhattan’s family court AND she was a judge in criminal court. Her accomplishments and experience span decades, and she was probably practicing law while you were still peeing in your training pants. Is it that she was appointed? Is that your problem? Do you hold all judges, who are appointed, with the same disdain and contempt? If not, why does she merit a vastly different standard by which to value and analyze her past judicial positions–positions that she held for years? I’d put her years of experience, both on and off the bench, up against any of your colleagues, teaching alongside of you in your law school, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. You seem, unfortunately, woefully incapable, for whatever the reason, of distinguishing between the fact that 10 percent of college graduates believed that she was on the US Supreme Court and Judge Judy’s indisputably accomplished and successful past in the legal field. I do declare–I do believe that I detect the strong scent of jealousy. Not an attractive scent, JT.

  13. You want to know what’s shocking? It’s shocking that a law professor would publish such moronic pap. Six is the only guy who analyzes and thoughtfully considers the ‘survey’. All such activity was ignored by the very careless ‘professor’ in order to generate clicks from a seriously deficient crowd. That’s what shocking.

  14. A few things came to mind reading this then clicking through the underlying study results:

    1.) If the headline had read, “90% of college graduates correctly identified that Judith Sheindlin is not on the US Supreme Court” that would NOT have captured any attention but would have been more representative than this headline (most peoples reaction would probably be, ‘who is Judith Sheindlin!?’)

    In reading the study linked by CNN, the question was phrased, ‘Which of the following serves on the U.S. Supreme Court, and ‘Judith Sheindlin’ was one of the five possible answers on the multiple choice. 62% correctly identified that, of the possible choices, the answer was ‘Elena Kagan’. I doubt 62% of the general public would even know who ‘Elena Kagan’ OR ‘Judith Sheindlin’ were if asked without any sort of context. This study is not shocking at all.

    The survey never described her as ‘Judge Judy’, they used her actual name ‘Judith Sheindlin’. It’s misrepresentative (and irresponsible to report) to say that people thought ‘Judge Judy’ was on the supreme court. ‘Judge Judy’ is a character that Judith Sheindlin plays on TV (but again, I doubt highly that when asked out of context, most people would have no idea who Judith Sheindlin is or that she plays a character on TV). If the stage name ‘Judge Judy’ was what was listed on the survey, and 10% of the people chose THAT, then your headline would be accurate. Otherwise to claim people thought ‘Judge Judy’ was on the supreme court is misleading.

    2.) How many graduates were surveyed? The article says it was a total cross-section of 1,000 adults representative of the general American public. Given that roughly 30% of Americans 18+ have college degrees, so I am guessing that maybe 300 of the 1000 were ‘college graduates’? That means roughly 30 ‘college graduates’ out of 300 college graduates surveyed guessed on a multiple choice that ‘Judith Sheindlin’ was the choice over Elena Kagan? Really, again not that shocking. Asked out of context, I would imagine 10% or more of the people would have no idea who Elena Kagan is either.

    3) College graduates of what college? When? Recent graduates? College graduates of what type of degree? The published study in the CNN article just says ‘college graduates’. It leaves people to assume recent, but no where does it specify, and the study didn’t break down the ‘college graduates’ by age or when they graduated. These could have been graduates from 30 years ago! If it was a cross-section of the population it’s likely that half or more surveyed actually graduated more than 15 years ago!

  15. High schools and colleges have become moron factories

    This can’t be repeated enough. Students don’t know history….they don’t know who won the Civil War or even what it is. Don’t know who we fought in WWII, who our allies were and even why we fought. Ccan’t find anything on a map. Don’t know geography. Refuse to read books that are ‘uncomfortable’. Barely are literate. Math!!! forget about it. Economics? What is that.

    Several generations of uneducated, ignorant people who are literally unable to function or think.

    Idiocracy (the movie) wasn’t supposed to be a model.

  16. While it’s silly for people to think that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court (I actually think that was a facetious answer given by people who simply didn’t know who’s on the Supreme Court), I would add to those saying that Judge Judy’s qualifications and educational value shouldn’t be dismissed… I’m often impressed by her ability to put common law concepts into language laypersons can understand

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