Practice Test #1

53 Questions  I  By Mr.sideburns
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Practice Test Quizzes & Trivia
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  • 1. 
    Which of the following BEST describes the concept of "reserved powers" of  the states?
    • A. 

      These are powers given to the states through the implied powers concept.

    • B. 

      These are powers not specifically granted to the national government or denied to the states.

    • C. 

      These are powers given only to Congress and are not available to the executive branch.

    • D. 

      These are powers given only to the Supreme Court

    • E. 

      These are powers such as foreign trade agreements over which states maintain only a small amount of control.


  • 2. 
    Candidates for President have been LEAST likely to come from which of the following sources?
    • A. 

      The vice presidency

    • B. 

      State governorships

    • C. 

      The cabinet

    • D. 

      The House of Representatives

    • E. 

      The Senate


  • 3. 
    Which of the following has the responsibility for creating additional federal courts and assigning the number of judges who will preside in them?
    • A. 

      The secretary of the treasury

    • B. 

      The attorney general

    • C. 

      The secretary of the Department of Justice

    • D. 

      The president

    • E. 

      The Congress


  • 4. 
    Which of the following best describes the president's responsibilities under the War Powers Resolution?
    • A. 

      The president must seek approval of Congress and the United Nations before committing troops for more than 10 days.

    • B. 

      The president must propose a financial plan for financing the war within 30 days of committing troops.

    • C. 

      The president must utilize National Gaurd units prior to asking Congress to reinstate a selective service system.

    • D. 

      The president must bring troops home from hostilities within 60 to 90 days unless congress extends the time.

    • E. 

      The president must have approval of the joint chiefs of staff before committing troops for 30 days.


  • 5. 
    Which of the following labels describes the principle under which our government does not meddle with the economy?
    • A. 

      Elitist economics policy

    • B. 

      Voodoo economics policy

    • C. 

      Laissez-faire economic policy

    • D. 

      Supply-side economic policy

    • E. 

      Monetarism


  • 6. 
    In order to create a balance of power without harming the independence of the presidency, which of the following measures did the framers of the Constitution take?
    • A. 

      They omitted the president as a power player in the area of a national security.

    • B. 

      They created a weak position as a head of the executive branch.

    • C. 

      They checked or balanced what they believed to be the president's most dangerous powers.

    • D. 

      They intentionally established a vice presedncy that would be from the opposite party.

    • E. 

      They created a presidency that had no powers over the military.


  • 7. 
    The Supreme Court decision in Bakke v. California Board of Regents dealt with which of the following issues?
    • A. 

      Segregation in student housing

    • B. 

      Censorship of a student newspaper

    • C. 

      Freedom of speech for college professors

    • D. 

      Affirmative action and reverse discrimination

    • E. 

      Fair salary schedules for female faculty members


  • 8. 
    Until the latter part of the 1800s, the primary method for government employees to secure their job was which of the following?
    • A. 

      Nepotism

    • B. 

      Military accomplishments

    • C. 

      Patronage system

    • D. 

      Merit system

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 9. 
    Which of the following is a power state legislatures have relating to the federal government?
    • A. 

      State legislatures recommend names to the president of potential Supreme Court justices.

    • B. 

      State legislatures determine the persons who will represent each state in the Electoral Collage.

    • C. 

      State legislatures redraw the boundaries of limited Congressional Districts following a census.

    • D. 

      State legislatures determine how often a national census should be conducted.

    • E. 

      State legislatures must independently vote on declarations of war following the vote from Congress.


  • 10. 
    Which of the following best describes the term "de facto segregation"?
    • A. 

      This is the type of segregation seen in the North, which is not caused by laws; rather, it is the result of residential segregation, preferred living patterns, and informal social forces.

    • B. 

      This is the type of segregation based in the South prior to the Civil War.

    • C. 

      This is the type of segregation founded in laws such as Jim Crow legislation.

    • D. 

      This is a type of segregation dealing only with economic issues not social issues.

    • E. 

      This is segregation based only on Supreme Court decisions that were later reversed.


  • 11. 
    Which of the following was viewed by the framers of the Constitution as the center of policy-making in the United States?
    • A. 

      President's cabinet

    • B. 

      Secretary of state

    • C. 

      President

    • D. 

      Congress

    • E. 

      Supreme Court


  • 12. 
    Presidents often have nicknames for their overall program for the American people. Which president called his plan the "Great Society"?
    • A. 

      John Kennedy

    • B. 

      Ronald Reagan

    • C. 

      Lyndon Johnson

    • D. 

      Jimmy Carter

    • E. 

      George Herbert Bush


  • 13. 
    Which of the following cabinet departments has the largest annual budget?
    • A. 

      Treasury

    • B. 

      Education

    • C. 

      Health and Human Services

    • D. 

      Commerce

    • E. 

      State


  • 14. 
    Which of the following is the party that initiates a lawsuit?
    • A. 

      Prosecutor

    • B. 

      Plaintiff

    • C. 

      Defendant

    • D. 

      Advocate

    • E. 

      Jurist


  • 15. 
    Which division of government is most responsible for expanding the rights of accused criminals during the 1960s?
    • A. 

      The president

    • B. 

      Congress

    • C. 

      The attorney general

    • D. 

      The Department of Justice

    • E. 

      The Supreme Court


  • 16. 
    Which committee in the House of Representatives is responsible for placing a bill on the legislative calendar and for establishing the time limits for debate and the types of amendments that will be allowed?
    • A. 

      Ways and means

    • B. 

      Judiciary

    • C. 

      Rules

    • D. 

      Joint

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 17. 
    Which of the following amendments to the United States Constitution was intended to overturn the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court?
    • A. 

      18th

    • B. 

      20th

    • C. 

      19th

    • D. 

      16th

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 18. 
    Which of the following are cabinet departments of the president?           I. Veterans Affairs          II. Agriculture         III. White House Counsel         IV. Transportation
    • A. 

      I and IV only

    • B. 

      I, II, and III

    • C. 

      I, II, and IV

    • D. 

      II, III, and IV

    • E. 

      III and IV only


  • 19. 
    Which of the following statements converning the federal income tax system is NOT correct?
    • A. 

      When originally attempted the federal income tax was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    • B. 

      The federal income tax provides only a small portion of the national government's income.

    • C. 

      The federal income tax was created by the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    • D. 

      The federal income tax is generally a progessive tax; the higher your income the higher the tax rate.

    • E. 

      Corporations as well as individuals pay income taxes.


  • 20. 
    Which of the following definiions best defines the concept of full faith and credit?
    • A. 

      It is a term that deals with economic policy stating that the Federal Reserve will protect deposits and checking accounts.

    • B. 

      It is a term converning Congress respecting the autonomy of the Supreme Court.

    • C. 

      It is a term that deals with the federal government maintaining a strong military capacity.

    • D. 

      It is a term dealing with cooperation between the executive and legislative branches on budgetary issues.

    • E. 

      It is a term concerning states being required to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of the other states.


  • 21. 
    Which of the following is most correct in describing the United States House of Representatives?           I. Elected every two years          II. Known as a continuous body         III. Must be at least 21 years old        IV. Can only serve six terms
    • A. 

      I,II and III

    • B. 

      I and IV only

    • C. 

      II, III, and IV

    • D. 

      I, III and IV

    • E. 

      I and III only


  • 22. 
    Which of the following definitions best describes the concept of eminent domain?
    • A. 

      It is the protection guaranteed in the Constitution that citizens will not have to keep soldiers in their houses.

    • B. 

      It is the idea that economic policy is best handled by government intervention.

    • C. 

      It is a belief held by the people of the United States that they are destined to spread their borders.

    • D. 

      It is the right of the government to take private property for public use as long as the individual is fairly compensated.

    • E. 

      It is the belief that any person may not be held in jail unless the government shows just cause.


  • 23. 
    The president of the United States possesses the constitutional power to negotiate treaties with other nations but the treaty is not considered final until which of the additional steps are taken?
    • A. 

      Congress votes to accept it by simple majority.

    • B. 

      Congress votes to accept it by a two-thirds majority.

    • C. 

      The House of Representatives votes to accept it by a two-thirds majority.

    • D. 

      The Senate votes to accept it by a two-thirds majority.

    • E. 

      Congress votes to accept it by a simple majority and the Supreme Court declares it constitutional.


  • 24. 
    At todays' national party conventions, the majority of the delegates are chosen by which of the following methods?
    • A. 

      They are delegates to previous conventions.

    • B. 

      They are chosen by state party leaders.

    • C. 

      They are chosen in state presidential primaries.

    • D. 

      They are chosen through the caucus process.

    • E. 

      They are state and national office holders from that party.


  • 25. 
    Under the Articles of Confederation, the bulk of the power rested in which of the following entities?
    • A. 

      The national Congress

    • B. 

      The president

    • C. 

      State legislatures

    • D. 

      The military

    • E. 

      The United States Senate


  • 26. 
    Bureaucratic agencies are originally created by which of the following groups?
    • A. 

      Congress

    • B. 

      The president

    • C. 

      The federal courts

    • D. 

      The Supreme Court

    • E. 

      The president's cabinet


  • 27. 
    Which of the following Supreme Court decisions established that an accused person has the right to be represented by a lawyer in felony cases and that if a person cannot afford an attorney the state must provide one?
    • A. 

      Miranda v. Arizona

    • B. 

      Bakke V. California

    • C. 

      Munn V. Illinois

    • D. 

      Buckley v. Valeo

    • E. 

      Gideon v Wainwright


  • 28. 
    Which of the following statements is NOT true concerning the White House staff?
    • A. 

      The press secretary is a member of the White House staff.

    • B. 

      The president relies on the White House staff for information, policy options and analysis.

    • C. 

      The national security advisor is a member of the White House staff.

    • D. 

      The white House staff size and repsonsibilities grew enormously in the last half of the 1900s

    • E. 

      Appointments to the White House staff are confirmed by the Senate.


  • 29. 
    Which of the following committees in Congress is responsible for reconciling differences in bills passed by the House and Senate?
    • A. 

      Ways and means

    • B. 

      Rules

    • C. 

      Domestic affairs

    • D. 

      Conference

    • E. 

      Appropriations


  • 30. 
    Which of the following elections legally uses federal money during campaigns?
    • A. 

      Gubernatorial elections

    • B. 

      Local elections

    • C. 

      Presidential elections

    • D. 

      Congressional elections

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 31. 
    Which historical events are generally blamed for ending the friendly relationship between the press and politicians?
    • A. 

      World War I and World War II

    • B. 

      The Great Depression and Prohibitions

    • C. 

      The Civil Rights Movement and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    • D. 

      The presidential debates and television

    • E. 

      The Vietnam War and Watergate


  • 32. 
    The term "establishment clause" refers to the United States Constitution dealing with which of the following?
    • A. 

      It is the part of the 2nd Amendment that establishes the right to bear arms.

    • B. 

      It is the part of the 7th Amendment that establishes no excessive bail and no cruel and unusual punishment.

    • C. 

      It is the part of the 1st Amendment, which states that Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion.

    • D. 

      It is the part of the 5th Amendment that establishes that no person shall be forced to testify against himself or herself.

    • E. 

      It is the part of the 19th Amendment that establishes women's right to vote.


  • 33. 
    The process of initiative is BEST described by which of the following?
    • A. 

      It is the formal expression of congressional opinion that must be approved by both house of Congress.

    • B. 

      It is a procedure allowing voters to submit a proposed law to a popular vote by obtaining a required number of signatures.

    • C. 

      It is a congressional process by which the speaker may send bill to a second committee after the first committee is finished acting on the bill.

    • D. 

      It is a brief, unsigned opinion issued by the Supreme Court to explain its ruling.

    • E. 

      It is a phrase meaning action must be taken following a presidential veto.


  • 34. 
    Which of the following statements concerning the Speaker of the House is NOT correct?
    • A. 

      The Speaker presides over the House when it is in session.

    • B. 

      The Speaker exercises considerable control over which bills get assigned to which committees.

    • C. 

      The Speaker plays a major role in making committee assignments in the House.

    • D. 

      The Speaker is third in line for succession to the presidency following the vice president and the secretary of state.

    • E. 

      The Speaker appoints or plays a key role in appointing the party's legislative leaders and the party leadership staff.


  • 35. 
    The War Powers Resolution, which requires the presidnet to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military forces, was passed as a reaction to what historical actions?
    • A. 

      The sinking of the Lusitania

    • B. 

      The bombing of Pearl Harbor

    • C. 

      American fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia

    • D. 

      The Korean War

    • E. 

      Operation Desert Storm


  • 36. 
    Bureaucratic agencies are intitially created by which of the following governmental institutioins?
    • A. 

      The presidency.

    • B. 

      Federal court decisions

    • C. 

      The presidential cabinet secretaries

    • D. 

      Congress

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 37. 
    According to the Constitutioin, Congress is prohibited from passing a bill of attainder. Which of the following describes a bill of attainder?
    • A. 

      It is a bill forcing citizens to pay for their own legal representation in criminal trials.

    • B. 

      It is a law making something illegal "after the fact."

    • C. 

      It is a law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime.

    • D. 

      It is a law placing export tariffs on items that are completely manufactured in the United States.

    • E. 

      It is a bill focing citizens to pay for the quartering of soldiers in their homes.


  • 38. 
    Which of the following statements concerning the United States Senate is NOT correct?
    • A. 

      The United States senate is a continuous body.

    • B. 

      United States Senators were elected by state legislatures until the ratification of the 7th Amendment.

    • C. 

      Untied States Senators must be at least 30 years of age.

    • D. 

      The United States Senate confirms presidential nominees to the Supreme Court.

    • E. 

      The United States Senate, because of its size has very strict rules and limitations concerning debate of proposed bills.


  • 39. 
    Which of the following describes the late 20th century movement to reduce the influence of the federal government and other governments in general?
    • A. 

      Cleith politics

    • B. 

      Liberalism

    • C. 

      Devolution

    • D. 

      Elitism

    • E. 

      Hyper-pluralism


  • 40. 
    Which of the following Supreme Court decisions established the concept of judicial review?
    • A. 

      Miller v. California

    • B. 

      Mapp v. Ohio

    • C. 

      McCulloch v. Maryland

    • D. 

      Korematsu v. U.S.

    • E. 

      Marbury v. Madison


  • 41. 
    Primaries where voters are presented with a list of candidates from all parties and voters may switch back and forth between parties are called
    • A. 

      Closed primaries

    • B. 

      Caucus primaries

    • C. 

      Blanket primaries

    • D. 

      Candidate primaries

    • E. 

      Run-off primaries


  • 42. 
    Which of the following definitioins describes standing committees?
    • A. 

      They exist in a few policy areas and their membership is drawn from both the Senate and the House.

    • B. 

      They are committees appointed for a specific purpose and a specific length of time.

    • C. 

      They are the committees formed only when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms.

    • D. 

      They are committees found only in the Senate that deal with continuous issues.

    • E. 

      They are permanently established committees formed to handle bills in different policy areas.


  • 43. 
    Which of the following BEST describes the strict constructionist approach to judicial decisions?
    • A. 

      It is the view that judges should consistently be harsh in the sentences they hand down.

    • B. 

      It is the view that judges should decide cases on the basis of the language of the Constitution.

    • C. 

      It is the view that judges should apply only acceptable local standards when decinding a case.

    • D. 

      It is the view that judges should apply a broad interpretation of Constitutional policies.

    • E. 

      It is the view that judges should follow only judicial precendent and previous court decisions when deciding a case.


  • 44. 
    According to the Constitution, which of the following has the power to pardon federal criminals?
    • A. 

      Congress

    • B. 

      The Senate

    • C. 

      The Supreme court

    • D. 

      The President

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 45. 
    The Great Compromise, which blended together the Virginia and New Jersey Plans, is sometimes called by which other name?
    • A. 

      The Three-FIfths Compromise

    • B. 

      The Albany Plan

    • C. 

      The Rhode Island Compromise

    • D. 

      The Connecticut Compromise

    • E. 

      Pennsylvania Compromise


  • 46. 
    James Madison described political factions as undesirable but inevitable in which of the following?
    • A. 

      The Declaration of Independence

    • B. 

      The Preamble to the Constitution

    • C. 

      The Federalist Papers

    • D. 

      The body of the Constitution

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 47. 
    Which of the United States minority groups has consistently been the least healthy, least educated, and living in the greatest poverty?
    • A. 

      African Americans

    • B. 

      Hispanic Americans

    • C. 

      Easter-European Americans

    • D. 

      Asian Americans

    • E. 

      Native Americans


  • 48. 
    Which of the following groups make up the iron triangle?      I. Congressional subcommittees     II. interest groupsa    III. presidential cabinet    IV. Bureaucracy    V. joint chiefs of staff
    • A. 

      II, III, and V

    • B. 

      I, II, and IV

    • C. 

      II, III, and IV

    • D. 

      I, II, and III

    • E. 

      III, IV, and V


  • 49. 
    Which of the following statements concerning the position of the vice president is NOT true?
    • A. 

      In case of presidential disability, he assumes the position of President.

    • B. 

      He presides over the United States Senate.

    • C. 

      Since 1980, the role and activities of the vice president has been increased informally by presidents.

    • D. 

      His Constitutional duties include serving as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

    • E. 

      He only votes in the Senate if the Senate vote is Tied.


  • 50. 
    Should the Supreme Court decide a case by a split decision, the justices on the losing side may write their reasons for disagreeing with the Court's decision. This is called which of the following?
    • A. 

      Writ of certiorari

    • B. 

      Per curiam opinion

    • C. 

      Writ of mandamus

    • D. 

      Writ of habeas corpus

    • E. 

      Dissenting opinion


  • 51. 
    Name the party positioin in Congress responsible for making certain that party members are present for a vote and that they vote the way the party wishes.
    • A. 

      President protempore

    • B. 

      Chairman of the caucus

    • C. 

      Minority leader

    • D. 

      Party whip

    • E. 

      None of the above


  • 52. 
    Which of the following types of federal grants do states prefer because they are for general areas and much less restrictive?
    • A. 

      Categorical grants

    • B. 

      Grants in aid

    • C. 

      Block grants

    • D. 

      Mandates

    • E. 

      Class action grants


  • 53. 
    Whenever the Supreme Court announces a decision per curium, it means which of the following?
    • A. 

      It signifies the decision was made by a unanimous vote of the Court.

    • B. 

      It signifies the decision was made by a split vote of the Court.

    • C. 

      It signifies the Court cannot decide the case and the lower court's decision stands.

    • D. 

      It signifies the Supreme Court decision is being announced without legal explanation or without a majority opinion.

    • E. 

      It signifies that the Supreme Court Decision goes into effect immediately.


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