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How Well Do You Know American Politics?

No filibustering allowed.

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  1. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    25
    Correct
    Incorrect
    30
    Correct
    Incorrect
    35
    Correct
    Incorrect
    40
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Thirty years old

    Older than a representative has to be (25) and younger than the president (35).

  2. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Standing Committee
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Civil Committee
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Joint Committee
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Select Committee
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Civil committee

    Standing, joint, and select committees are where members of Congress consider proposed laws, conduct investigations, and work to focus public attention on specific issues. Hopefully they are all conducted civilly, but the civil committee isn't a thing.

  3. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Supreme Court
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Chief of justice
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Secretary of state
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Attorney general
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The attorney general

    Our current attorney general (and the first African American woman to hold the position) is Loretta Lynch.

    The attorney general
    Via Public Domain
  4. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Employment discrimination
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Voter discrimination
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Excessive bail
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Search of property without a warrant
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Employment discrimination

    Though a number of federal statutes have prohibited discrimination in the workplace — based on race, religion, sex, ability — the Constitution doesn't directly prohibit it.

  5. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Vice president, president pro tempore, speaker of the house, secretary of state
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Vice president, speaker of the house, president pro tempore, secretary of state
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Vice president, secretary of state, speaker of the house, president pro tempore
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Vice president, speaker of the house, secretary of state, president pro tempore
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Vice president > speaker of the house > president pro tempore > secretary of state.

    And then, if all of *those* people vacate the office, it goes: secretary of the treasury, secretary of defense, attorney general....until, 11 spots later, the secretary of homeland security.

  6. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1965
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1959
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1963
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1971
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    1965

    Even though the 15th Amendment (ratified in 1870) promised to protect the right of all (male) citizens to vote, regardless of race, many black Americans were still kept from polls through things like poll taxes and literacy tests until 1965.

  7. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    225
    Correct
    Incorrect
    435
    Correct
    Incorrect
    100
    Correct
    Incorrect
    538
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    435

    Each state gets a number of representatives proportional to their population, as opposed to its senators (who number just two per state).

  8. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    6th
    Correct
    Incorrect
    7th
    Correct
    Incorrect
    8th
    Correct
    Incorrect
    9th
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Eighth Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, prohibits excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.

  9. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Department of Energy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Department of Homeland Security
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Department of Homeland Security

    Established in 2002, DHS is the youngest cabinet agency. Second youngest is the Department of Health and Human Services, established in 1980 after the "education" part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare left to become its own cabinet agency.

  10. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ulysses Grant
    Correct
    Incorrect
    James Monroe
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Thomas Jefferson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    George Washington set a precedent of a voluntary two-term limit that no one surpassed — until FDR was elected for both a third and fourth term in the 1940s. After he died months into his fourth term, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment, limiting future presidents to two terms.

  11. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    House of Representatives
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Senate
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Supreme Court
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    House of Representatives

    This is just one of the powers exclusive to the House (along with initiating revenue bills).

  12. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Kentucky
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Massachusetts
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Virginia
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Georgia
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Georgia

    Only Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are designated "commonwealths" in their official state names — though some other states (like Vermont) use the terms "state" and "commonwealth" interchangeably in their constitutions. Still, there is no legal distinction between the two terms — it's mostly a symbol of the state's dedication to serving the common good of its people.

  13. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Three
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Four
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Five
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Six
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Four

    A majority isn't needed — only four of the nine justices need to vote to accept a case, although five need to vote to enact a stay (of, say, an execution or federal program).

  14. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Two years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Four years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Six years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Eight years
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Six years

    Senators serve longer terms than both representatives (two years) and presidents (four years).

  15. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    Enact laws
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Declare war
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Appoint heads of federal agencies
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Impeach the president
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Appoint heads of federal agencies

    The executive branch holds the power to appoint heads of federal agencies — though Congress has authority to confirm or reject those appointments.

  16. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
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    Incorrect
    A writ of certiorari
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A writ of mandamus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A writ of habeas corpus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A writ of elegit
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A writ of certiorari

    The world "certiorari" comes from Latin and means "to be more fully informed."

  17. Wlad74 / ThinkStock
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Manipulating the boundaries of a district or electoral constituency to favor one party or class
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making a prolonged speech to obstruct progress in a legislative assembly
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Distracting the public from a scandal by offering false or misleading information
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Seeking to sway a public official toward making a legislative decision to benefit a special interest group
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    You're manipulating the boundaries of a district or electoral constituency to favor one party or class.

    Which is why the electoral college system isn't as cut-and-dried as one might think.

Sources: archives.gov, ushistory.org, justice.gov, law.cornell.edu, loc.gov, whitehouse.gov, dhs.gov, hhs.gov, constitutioncenter.org, britannica.com, ga.gov, uscourts.gov, senate.gov

Thumbnail credits: Pete Souza/Public Domain, tupungato/ThinkStock

 
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