Texans Asked About First Amendment

September 22, 2000

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On September 22, 2000, The Houston Chronicle reported that "four out of 10 Texans can't correctly name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a new statewide survey shows. When asked if they could name any of the specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, 6 percent of Texans surveyed answered incorrectly while 35 percent had no answer. 'The greatest ally of oppression is ignorance,' said Rob Wiley, a Houston lawyer who is president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. He called the findings 'genuinely troubling.' Wiley was in Austin on Thursday for the FOI Foundation's statewide conference, which begins today and offers programs to educate people about the First Amendment. The Texas Poll on freedom of information issues was conducted by the Scripps Howard Data Center Aug. 7-30. It surveyed 1,000 Texans statewide via randomly selected telephone numbers. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points."