USConstitution.net 2001 Survey Results – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

USConstitution.net 2001 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 2001. For results from other years, please
go to the Main Results Page.

Question 42, December 2001 – In the wake of the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks, how concerned are you about civil liberties being
violated by the government in its response?

Response Count Percentage
The government is taking just the right steps to protect Americans –
some restrictions on civil rights in this time of war is a small price to
39 17.81
I think the government needs to walk a fine line, and though the steps
taken so far have been alright, they could easily veer too far off
44 20.09
I am very concerned about the steps the government has taken, and feel
that, unchallenged, the government will far overreach its
136 62.10
Total 219 100.00

Question 41, November 2001 – Should the United States show
respect for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by suspending operations in
Afghanistan during the month?

Response Count Percentage
Though suspension may mean a set-back to the campaign, the support of
Arab allies is too important to risk – we should suspend all military
39 10.26
We should suspend the bombing, but since ground operations can be
pin-point in accuracy, they should not be suspended.
22 5.79
War is war – fighting has happened during Jewish and Christian holy
days, and Ramadan should not be treated any differently.
319 83.95
Total 380 100.00

Question 40, October 2001 – One criticism of U.S.
intelligence agencies following the September 11 terrorist attacks is that the
U.S. was too diligent in trying to keep its hands clean when working with
foreign nationals, not, for example, putting known killers or terrorists on the
payroll. What should we do in the future?

Response Count Percentage
We must continue these policies, striving to uphold our own
59 37.34
It should be our policy to try to avoid these people, but at the same
time allow it when no other option exists.
45 28.48
While the policy seemed like a good idea, it is obvious that we now have
to be able to deal with terrorists in any way possible – we must put these sorts
on the payroll.
54 34.18
Total 158 100.00

Question 39, September 2001 – One often-repeated criticism
of the Constitution is the life-time appointment of judges. Many states appoint
judges for fixed terms, have retirement ages, or even hold regular elections for
judgeships. Would you support any of these for federal judges?

Response Count Percentage
Life-time appointment helps prevent corruption. Leave it as it is. 37 28.46
Appointments should be for a set number of years, like 8 or 24 years,
with reconfirmation required to extend the term.
30 23.08
Retirement ages should be implemented to prevent old judges, out of tune
with society, from continuing on the bench beyond their usefulness.
27 20.77
All public officials, including judges, should be elected. 36 27.69
Total 130 100.00

Question 38, August 2001 – A commission whose members
included former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford recently made several
recommendations to improve the election process in the United States. One key
recommendation was to make Election Day a national holiday. The suggested,
too, that moving Veteran’s Day to Election Day every two or four years would
honor veterans and not place a financial burden on business. What do you

Response Count Percentage
There is no reason to make Election Day a national holiday 72 30.00
Veterans Day should be separate to honor our veterans, and Election Day
should be a national holiday
105 43.75
Combining Veterans Day and Election day for Presidential elections is a
great idea, but not for mid-term elections
16 6.67
Voting on Veterans Day would be an honorable way to spend some of that
day – move Veterans Day to be the same day as all national election days
47 19.58
Total 240 100.00

Question 37, July 2001 – How did you come to this site?

Response Count Percentage
AltaVista 4 4.49
America Online 8 8.99
Ask Jeeves 15 16.85
AT&amplT 1 1.12
Browser Bookmark 4 4.49
Excite 6 6.74
Google 15 16.85
History Channel 3 3.37
HotBot 3 3.37
InfoSeek 1 1.12
Lycos 1 1.12
Metacrawler 2 2.25
MSN 6 6.74
NBCi 1 1.12
Netscape Directory 2 2.25
Other search engine 5 5.62
Other site link 5 5.62
Yahoo 7 7.87
Total 89 100.00

Question 36, June 2001 – On June 5, 2001, Vermont Senator
James Jeffords changed his party affiliation from Republican to Independent.
Such changes are not unheard of, but this one will force a change in the
leadership of the Senate from the Republicans to the Democrats. Some have said
that such changes in party should necessitate a special election. Others that
a politician’s party affiliation is no business of the voters. Your

Response Count Percentage
Voters should choose politicians based on their party, and when a
politician wants to change his or her party, the voters should be able to
choose someone new right away.
49 25.65
Voters should choose politicians based on the person, and the party has
only tangental significance, so no special election is required.
109 57.07
Normally, a politician should be able to change parties without a
special election, but in the case of a change causing such a sweeping change in
Washington, the politician should resign, forcing a new election for which he
or she could run.
33 17.28
Total 191 100.00

Question 35, May 2001 – In Florida, a man wishes to remove his wife from
life support machines against the wishes of her parents. The woman, Terri
Schiavo, 27, slipped into a coma in 1990. Schiavo did not have a living will,
though her husband Michael says that she would not have wanted to be kept alive
artificially. In the absence of a living will, how should a court rule on such
a case?

Response Count Percentage
The spouse should have the final say in all such medical decisions –
the parents have no rights here.
196 58.86
The parents and spouse should have equal say in medical decisions, and
if there is disagreement, the court should err on the side of life.
105 31.53
The parents should have final say in all such medical decisions. 32 9.61
Total 333 100.00

Question 34, April 2001 – The Supreme Court has heard a
case concerning a California law that permits an exception to the federal ban
on the sale of marijuana. The exception, which is encoded in the laws of
several other states as well, is for so-called “medical necessity.” Some argue
that these laws are an unconstitutional infringement on the federal commerce
power, others that it is a proper use of state sovereignty. What do you

Response Count Percentage
The federal government should have absolute power over interstate
commerce – the state laws should be struck
39 16.39
The federal power to regulate commerce is necessary, but the states
should be able to act on their own to enact some exceptions.
84 35.29
In this specific case, the states should have the power to overrule the
federal government, but in most other cases, exceptions should not be
37 15.55
The states should regulate commerce – this is just an illustration of
how the federal power is abused.
78 32.77
Total 238 100.00

Question 33, March 2001 – Former President Clinton is under
fire for several last-minute pardons he issued. It is generally accepted that
nothing can be done about these pardons. Should we change the pardoning power
of the President?

Response Count Percentage
The pardon power has been with us for over 200 years and works just
fine. This current flap will blow over, as they all have in the past.
54 35.76
The pardon power is archaic and needs to be changed – the President is
too political to have this power. It should be transferred to the Congress.
13 8.61
The President should have the pardon power, but it should be reviewable
by the Congress.
64 42.38
The pardon power is counter to our system of justice and should be
20 13.25
Total 151 100.00

Question 32, February 2001 – President Bush has proposed
allowing religious organizations to apply for federal funds to support their
relief efforts. These “faith-based” groups currently support their works
through private donations. Civil libertarians and some religious spokespeople
are wary, citing 1st Amendment concerns or concerns about the strings attached
to the money. What do you think?

Response Count Percentage
Religious institutions have done a great job at helping the poor when
no one else would – they deserve to be able to apply for federal funding.
148 30.52
The government is famous for attaching conditions to its dole –
religious organizations should refuse to participate to maintain their
65 13.40
The government must stay away from funding any religious organization,
else it risks serious legal and political concerns.
272 56.08
Total 485 100.00

Question 31, January 2001 – Scheduled for February, the
U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case of Danny Kyllo, arrested for growing
marijuana in his home. The police detected the possible presence of marijuana
by scanning the man’s home with an infra-red scanner. The scan was done
without a warrant in the belief that since the scanner only read what existed
in the environment, and did not actually penetrate the home, that one was not
needed. The information gathered by the scanner was used to obtain a search
warrant. What should the Court do?