Souter says too many Americans do not understand how their government works. He also says polls show two-thirds of Americans cannot name the three branches of government. Unless that changes, Souter says, the ability of judges to be free from political pressures could be eroded.
"That is why civic education has to be raised to a new power and why every one of us in this room has to see to it that civic understanding becomes a birthright of every American," Souter said.
Pres. Barack Obama also addressed to the group by videotape.