Pre-Discussion test

Welcome to Supreme Court 101! Before we get started, I would like each student to test his knowledge of American Government by taking the accompanying test.

1. The number and types of the branches of the federal government are:

2. Which of the following must be true about every President of the United States?

3. When government hurts you by violating your rights under the U.S. Constitution, what is usually your strongest response?

4. Which entity has the most influence over the rules concerning homeschooling?

5. “Federalism” refers to:

6. Which is the fastest growing age group in America?

7. The “Supremacy Clause” is:

8. An "exit poll” means:

9. A “leak” in government is:

10. All of the following are examples of “checks and balances” EXCEPT:

11. In the 2008 presidential elections, the primaries accomplish which purpose?

12. Who is a “lobbyist”?

13. “Affirmative action” consists of:

14. The phrase the “separation of church and state” can be found where?

15. Rank the following in terms of how open they are to public participation, from least open to most open:

I. closed primary
II. open primary
III. caucus

16. The Miranda warning is given to whom?

17. The vote of how many Justices in your favor is necessary to ensure victory in the U.S. Supreme Court (choose the minimum amount necessary):

18. The decision that had the effect of ending prayer in school was:

19. From year to year, the “sound bite” is becoming:

20. If someone comes to your door and asks if he can search your house, what would your attorney most likely tell you to do?

21. One good reason to spend more time working for an interest group than a political party is:

22. The broadest support for a food regulation is for:

23. On Tuesday, John McCain won the Republican primary in New Hampshire, and Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary there. What did they really win?

24. The President has almost complete control over:

25. Why is it important to get involved in a major political party?

26. All of the following are interest groups EXCEPT:

27. A journalist "shield law" does which of the following:

28. Which of the following is the best predictor of how people will vote?

29. Early polling data are often unreliable because:

30. Which of the following is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution?

31. If you wanted to run for President, you would want to do all of the following things EXCEPT:

32. One of the most reliable political polls is the approval rating of the President. Why?

33. What might the Republican Party cite to stop a disliked candidate from running as a Republican?

34. Which of the following are true about federal courts?

I. The Supreme Court usually won't hear a case unless four Justices want to.
II. Except for big lawsuits between citizens of different states, a plaintiff must usually cite violation of a federal law to gain access to federal court.
III. The Chief Justice of the United States always decides who writes the opinion for the Court.

Questions 35 and 36 are based on Lopez v. United States (1995), in which the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. That law had made it a federal offense "for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone."

35. Suppose you were the attorney for the United States arguing in favor of the constitutionality of the federal law. Which clause in the Constitution would help you most?

36. Suppose you were the attorney for Mr. Lopez. Which principle or doctrine would help you most in arguing that the federal law is invalid?

37. The longest-serving Supreme Court Justice in history, William O. Douglas, once said, "I don't follow precedents, I make ’em." What is that an example of?

38. A new statute is typically prepared and revised by whom?

39. When the President vetoes new legislation, which options are left for trying to pass it?

40. Each of the following are departments in the Executive Branch EXCEPT:

41. How many votes are required for a successful filibuster in the U.S. Senate?

42. Which job is performed by the Attorney General of the United States?

43. How might you best phrase a preliminary question in a poll about the death penalty to (falsely) increase the number of people opposed to it?

44. The Constitution gives the power to declare war to which branch of government?

45. The minimum age for drinking alcohol is 21 in all 50 states because of political efforts of _____________:

46. The “peace dividend” was expected as the result of which of the following?

47. The Equal Rights Amendment:

48. The main defect in the Lemon Test is that:

49. “Incorporation doctrine” means which of the following:

50. The “legislative veto” gave Congress the power to veto or invalidate an action taken by the President, such as a decision to deport an illegal alien. The legislative veto was in nearly 200 federal statutes until it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in INS v. Chadha (1983). Which doctrine do you think the U.S. Supreme Court used to invalidate it?