About half of Americans don't know that John Roberts is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Twenty-three percent believe Ruth Bader Ginsberg presides over the high court and 16% think it's Clarence Thomas.
A study of 1000 people conducted by the American Bar Association (ABA) found those gaps in Americans' knowledge of history and government.
On the upside, while many Americans might not know that Roberts is the highest-ranking judge in the United States, 95% of the people surveyed are aware that the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land.
Almost 1 in 5 people think the Declaration of Independence contains the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The right answer is that the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Three-fourths of Americans gave the correct response.
The Bill of Rights places specific limits on governmental power and protects certain individual liberties, including freedom of religion, speech, the press, as well as guaranteeing a right to bear arms and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.
One in 10 Americans believe the Declaration of Independence freed enslaved people in the Confederate South. However, 77% of people surveyed answered correctly — that the document declared our nation's independence from Great Britain.
Thirty percent believe freedom of speech is a right reserved only for U.S. citizens.
The results suggest that most Americans have at least a basic grasp of the nation's founding principles and documents, but only 5% of respondents answered all 15 of the civics questions correctly.