USConstitution.net 1999 Survey Results – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

USConstitution.net 1999 Survey Results


This site has conducted an unscientific survey on various issues since July
of 1998. The results, while interesting in most cases, are to be taken with a
grain of salt – the results can easily be skewed by an individual or group of
individuals; the sample is, by nature, not representative (because it consists
only of Web users who visit my site and bother to view the survey page and
submit an opinion).

This page includes results from 1999. For results from other years, please
go to the Main Results Page.

Question 18, December 1999 – For the first time in several
years, the Supreme Court will hear a case concerning school prayer. What is
your opinion on school prayer?

Response Count Percentage
Schools should be required to have prayer as part of the everyday
56 14.74
Schools should be required to have a moment of silence as part of the
everyday routine.
48 12.63
Schools should be allowed to have a prayer or a moment of silence as
part of the everyday routine, if the local community approves of it.
100 26.32
No structured time should be set aside for prayer or a moment of
silence, but schools should specifically allow students to pray as they
62 16.32
No structured time should be set aside for prayer or a moment of
silence, but schools should specifically allow students to pray in
21 5.53
Schools should not sanction prayer of any kind, but students are free to
pray on their free time.
72 18.95
Prayer of any kind should be forbidden on school grounds. 21 5.53
Total 380 100.00

Question 17, November 1999 – The Supreme Court has ruled
repeatedly over the last 20 years that the death penalty is constitutional …
but it is now about to rule about whether the electric chair is too cruel to be
used under the terms of the 8th Amendment. Is the electric chair as a means of
execution too cruel? (Please note that the results of the first ten days of
this survey were lost to a hacker attack.)

Response Count Percentage
The electric chair is not cruel, period 99 36.53
The electric chair is cruel, but having it is a deterrent to crime,
and it should remain for that reason
96 35.42
The electric chair is a cruel throw-back – is should be banned 35 12.92
The death penalty is unconstitutional, despite earlier rulings, and the
electric chair, like all methods of execution, needs to be banned
41 15.13
Total 271 100.00

Question 16, October 1999 – For the first time, the Supreme
Court has agreed to review a case concerning the rights of grandparents to
visitation with their grandchildren, over the objections of the parents. Many
states have grandparents’ visitation rights statutes, allowing court-ordered
visitation, but some of those states have had their laws struck by local
courts. Do grandparents have a right to see their grandchildren?

Response Count Percentage
Grandparents should have an absolute right to see their
116 23.67
There are too many variables for absolutism – the courts should decide
on a case-by-case basis
209 42.65
The decision of the parent should be absolute 165 33.67
Total 490 100.00

Question 15, September 1999 – The Department of Justice is
asking Congress to write law that would allow it to enter a private home,
install software and/or hardware that could record your computer activities and
preempt any encryption software you are using. Do you think that law
enforcement has a legitimate concern and that it should get the legislation it
is looking for?

Response Count Percentage
Law enforcement needs laws like this to protect us from the criminal
20 4.77
Though this proposal is going too far, law enforcement should have some
new powers for computer crime
117 27.92
There is no justification for this proposal, and we must fight against
such measures to protect our rights
282 67.30
Total 419 100.00

Question 14, August 1999 – Many proposals for changing the
Constitution involve the redrawing of state lines. Should the current state
boundaries be redrawn?

Response Count Percentage
Leave all state boundaries alone 125 61.27
I think they are fine, but it could be worth looking into 37 18.14
I think they’re fine, but some large states, maybe even cities, could
be split off
23 11.27
States are practically irrelevant now – we definitely need to look at
redrawing borders, creating larger regions
12 5.88
We should do away with states and simply have national and local
7 3.43
Total 205 100.00

Question 13, July 1999 – How did you come to this site?

Response Count Percentage
AboutPolitics (Political Site of the Day) 3

Ask Jeeves 3 .54
AltaVista 24 4.34
Booklist Magazine 1 .18
C|Net 9 1.63
CNN 1 .18
DogPile 5 .90
Email, link in 40 7.23
ETour 2 .36
Excite 50 9.04
InfoSeek 7 1.27
Long-timer (bookmark) 9 1.63
Lycos 6 1.08
Magazine, other 7 1.27
MSN 3 .54
NetFind 15 2.71
Netscape Directory 14 2.53
Newspaper article 4 .72
Other media source 33 5.97
Other search engine 39 7.05
Personal web page 6 1.08
Political web page 12 2.17
The Rush Limbaugh Show 125 22.60
Any Rush Limbaugh web page 27 4.88
Syllabus, college or university 1 .18
ThirdAge 63 11.39
Usenet article 7 1.27
WebBound Magazine 3 .54
WebCrawler 2 .36
Yahoo 32 5.79
Total 553 100.00

Question 12, June 1999 – What is your opinion of the 2nd

Response Count Percentage
The 2nd protects individual rights, and there must be no
restriction on gun ownership, period
329 56.43
The 2nd protects individual rights, but some governmental
restriction is alright
152 26.07
The 2nd protects states’ rights, and the federal government
has no place regulating guns
41 7.03
The 2nd protects states’ rights, but the federal government
has a role in the regulation of guns
41 7.03
I have no idea who the 2nd protects; regardless, the federal
government has no right to regulate guns
2 0.34
I have no idea who the 2nd protects and the federal
government has a right to regulate guns
15 2.57
I’m sick of the whole issue, and have no opinion either way 3 0.51
Total 583 100.00
Subdivided Percentages – Restriction
There must be no restriction on gun ownership 372 63.81
Some restriction is alright 209 35.85
No opinion 2 0.34
Subdivided Percentages – State v Individual
Individual protection 481 82.50
State protection 82 14.07
No opinion 20 3.43

Question 11, May 1999 – The ongoing conflict in Kosovo is
of great concern to a great many people. What is your opinion of the actions
of the President?

Response Count Percentage
The President should continue on this course, regardless of
what Congress says
21 1.97
The President has the authority to start conflicts like
this, but the support of Congress is essential
318 29.89
The President has no authority in this area, and his acts
are probably unconstitutional
725 68.14
Total 1064 100.00

Question 10, April 1999 – The First Lady, Hillary Clinton,
clearly has the right to run for a U.S. Senate seat in New York, despite the
fact that she does not currently live there. The question is, should she?


Response Count Percentage
No, she should not run 218 67.28
Yes, it is her right, and she should if she wishes 106 32.72
Total 324 100.00

Question 9, March 1999 – What do you think will happen on
January 1, 2000?

Response Count Percentage
The doom and gloom are all media hype – we’ll be fine 63 21.50
Everything will be OK, but something is bound to break 120 40.96
Lots of computers and machines are going to fail 63 21.50
We’re all toast – the system is going down 47 16.04
Total 293 100.00

Question 8, February 1999 – Should the Constitution be
amended to abolish the Electoral College and have direct election of the
President and Vice-President?

Response Count Percentage
Yes, we should have direct elections 188 67.87
No, the layer the College provides is still important 50 18.05
No, the system works, leave it alone 39 14.08
Total 277 100.00

Question 7, January 1999 – Does the impeachment of
President Clinton rise to the level of a Constitutional Crisis?