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Most U.S. adults cannot name justice

Jan. 15, 2006 at 12:55 PM

EAGAN, Minn., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Despite high-profile news coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, 57 percent of U.S. adults can't name any current U.S. Supreme Court justices.

A national survey commissioned by FindLaw.com finds only 43 percent of U.S. adults can name at least one justice who is currently serving on the nation's highest court.

In the past year, a good deal of media attention has focused on the highest court following the announced retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and President Bush's subsequent nominations of John Roberts, Harriet Miers -- who eventually withdrew her nomination -- and Samuel Alito.

Twenty-seven percent in the survey were able to identify Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. Twenty-one percent identified Clarence Thomas, 16 percent John Roberts, 13 percent Antonin Scalia and 12 percent could name Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

However, less than 10 percent of the respondents could name Justices Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Stephen Breyer or John Paul Stevens.

The survey of 1,000 adults has a margin of error of plus/minus 3 percentage points and was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

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