Trivia Thursday – Constitutional Qs

Justice is served

This is the first in a new series I’m doing every Thursday.  I’ll give you 3 to 7 questions on the law,literature, writing and/or science, and you answer them in the comments below.

I’m holding you to the honor’s system.  No cheating, yes, that includes Googling and reading prior comments before you answer yourself. 🙂 For every answer correct, you get me to answer something on your blog, like critiquing a piece, and anyone who gets all questions of the week correct gets me re-posting a recent post of theirs.

The point of this is to engage and have fun, and hopefully learn something.  I’ll post the answers on Fridays around noon.

1. I said I’d give 3 to 7 questions for a specific reason.  In the US Constitution, what are there 3 of and what are there 7 of?

2. What is the 3rd amendment about?

3. What document preceded the US Constitution?

4. In what landmark case did the Supreme Court assert its authority to review Acts of Congress, thus securing the Court’s right to judicial review?

5. People joke that they are pleading the fifth when they’re telling friends they won’t answer a question.  This is actually a misstatement of the law.  What does pleading the fifth really mean?

There ya go, ready, set, answer! 🙂


9 thoughts on “Trivia Thursday – Constitutional Qs

  1. 1. Branches of government & Articles in the Constitution.
    2. 3rd is about quartering troops in homes during peacetime.
    3. Articles of Confederation
    4. I have no clue.
    5. 5th Amendment prohibits compelling a _criminal_ defendant to be a witness against himself, among other things.It’s why felons who lie on form 4473 to buy a gun cannot be prosecuted for falsifying their answers.

    How did I do for a layperson?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps I’m recalling Haynes incorrectly, but I seem to recall that a felon falsifying his answers on Form 4473 cannot be prosecuted either. The same logic applies.

        From 4473: ” I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law. “

        If the felon trying to obtain a firearm (which is illegal, of course) is required to enter “YES” to questions 11(b),(c) or (d) that would require the felon to self-incriminate under criminal statutes. While not quite the “Catch-22” in Haynes it still violates self-incrimination.

        Which means most of the questions on Form 4473 become a bad joke. Only criminals deserving of one of Bill Engval’s signs (Here’s your sign!) will correctly answer.


  2. 1. Three branches of government, seven articles.
    2. The Third Amendment forbids the quartering of troops in private homes.
    3. The U.S. Constitution was preceded by the Articles of Confederation.
    4. Judicial review was established in Marbury v. Madison.
    5. “Pleading the Fifth” means refusing to answer a question because the answer might be incriminating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill’s answer to No. 5 is probably a better one insofar as the Fifth Amendment does only apply to the criminal context. His comment about the 4473 is arguable. Haynes v. United States, 390 U.S. 85 (1968), held that a prohibited person couldn’t be convicted for failing to register his illegally-possessed firearm, i.e. the crime of illegal possession had already been committed. Lying on the 4473 is different–the form merely asks a question (“are you a prohibited person”). Possession is a separate crime subsequent to the crime of lying on the form.


      1. I saw on your blog that you were a law student 🙂 Congrats on the bar! I did that July of 2013. It sucked! 🙂


      1. To be entirely fair, I didn’t cheat under the rules you set, but I am something of a ringer: I sat for the Oklahoma bar two weeks ago.


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