A new survey released by the Freedom Forum entitled, “The First Amendment: Where America Stands,” reveals that while 94% of Americans value the First Amendment as vital, they are nonetheless divided on certain key issues. Many Americans appear reluctant to engage in speech that may be seen as controversial. According to the survey of 3,000 Americans in July and August 2020, more than four in 10 people say that, at least once, they haven’t expressed an opinion out of fear of being punished.
On May 5th, the Knight Foundation and Gallup released the 2020 First Amendment on Campus report, an online survey of more than 3,000 full-time undergraduate students, and a large cohort of students from historically black colleges and universities. The First Amendment survey began in the spring of 2016, and the respondents for the 2020 report were queried in the fall of 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Americans are becoming increasingly aware of their rights under the First Amendment, according to the 2019 State of the First Amendment survey released by the Freedom Forum Institute. The survey found that 71 percent of respondents were able to name at least one First Amendment right, compared to just 51 percent of respondents in the 2018 survey. Freedom of speech (64 percent) was the most commonly recalled right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Next was freedom of religion (29 percent), freedom of the press (22 percent) and right of assembly (12 percent). At just four percent, the right to petition was the least likely of the five freedoms to be recalled.
According to a newly released American Bar Association civics literacy survey, the American public displays strong support for the First Amendment, but knowledge of the specifics of its protections are lacking.
The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment expert, Lata Nott, originally published this op-ed on the Newseum blog and in local newspapers […]