65% Can’t Name A SCOTUS Justice, but know Clarence

According to a poll shown on Hardball with Chris Matthews, 65% of Americans can’t name a Supreme Court Justice, not one.  Interestingly, more had heard of the name Clarence Thomas than any other.   I’m not sure why this is so.   He is not a power broker on the court.  He sides or maybe hides with the comfortable conservative majority on nearly every decision.  It might be that Americans remember his contentious confirmation hearings, particularly Anita Hill’s allegations that he had sexually harassed her when they worked together some years before at the EEOC.

But am I giving the average American too much credit, or not enough?  Maybe it’s not Clearance Thomas they remember at all.  Perhaps they remember Clarence Darrow, the attorney who challenged a Tennessee state law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in the schools and defended one John Scopes, a school teacher who dared to teach Darwin’s theory in the classroom.  There would certainly be some irony here if in fact folks confuse Clarence T. with Clarence D.  Or is it that Americans have confused Justice Thomas with Clarence Odbody, George Bailey’s guardian angel in the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Are Americans really this ignorant or clever… or do we simply not give a damn? If it’s that folks don’t give a crap, it’s a sad day for democracy.

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