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Varsity Government Questions

Q: In what city is the Federal seventh circuit Court of Appeals?

A: Chicago

Q: Silvio Berlusconi is Prime Minister of what European nation?

A: Italy

Q: Michael R. Bloomberg serves as mayor of what major city? (as of 11/15/05)

A: New York

Q: Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici represent what Southwestern state in the U.S. Senate?
Both served in their state’s legislature in Santa Fe.

A: New Mexico

Q: What city is the official seat of the European Union’s parliament?

A: Strasbourg

Q: Umar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashar is president of what war-torn African nation?

A: Sudan

Q: Hae-Chan Lee serves as Prime Minister of what nation?

A: South Korea

Q: What state’s representatives include Jeff Miller, Connie Mack IV, Clay Shaw, Tom
Feeney, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Its Senators are Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez,
and its governor is Jeb Bush.

A: Florida

Q: What state’s governor-elect is Ted Strickland? Former governors include Edward Tiffin,
Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley. The current officeholder is Robert Taft III.

A: Ohio
Q: Tim Kaine is the current governor of what state? Previous holders have included Mark
Warner, George Allen, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

A: Virginia

Q: Néstor Kirchner is president of what nation? Juan Peron is perhaps the best known
former president.

A: Argentina

Q: Patrick Kennedy represents what state in the United States House of Representatives?

A: Rhode Island

Q: George “Sonny” Perdue is the current governor of what state? Past governors included
Roy Barnes, Lester Maddox, James Oglethorpe, and Jimmy Carter

A: Georgia

Q: Jerry Costello, John Shimkus, Lane Evans, Tim Johnson and Ray LaHood represent what
state in the U.S. House of Representatives?

A: Illinois

Q: What federal agency steps in to manage programs after the President declares a disaster

A: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Q: Dick Cheney held what cabinet post under the first President Bush?

A: Secretary of Defense

Q: The head of government in Italy holds what title?

A: Prime Minister

Q: What position is the highest ranking official in the United States Department of Justice?

A: Attorney General

Q: What is the title of the chief executive in the Brazilian government?

A: President
Q: What cabinet department was most recently created?

A: Homeland Security

Q: 10 Downing Street is the official residence of what world leader?

A: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (or England or Britian)

Q: What is the British government’s equivalent to the United States Secretary of State?

A: Secretary of State (for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) or Foreign Secretary

Q: What post’s holders have included Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg, Henry Clay, John Nance
Garner, Sam Rayburn, Tip O’Neill, Tom Foley, and Dennis Hastert?

A: Speaker of the House

Q: What Cabinet office is twelfth in the order of Presidential Succession? This post was
created in 1979 when the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was split. The
current holder is Michael Leavitt.

A: Secretary of Health and Human Services

Q: Which cabinet department oversees the Bureau of the Census? Other operating units
include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Patent and Trademark
Office, and the Economic Development Adminitstation. The current head of this
department is Carlos Gutierrez.

A: Commerce

Q: What 2002 Congressional Act reauthorized a number of federal programs that aim to
improve the performance of U.S.'s primary and secondary schools by increasing the
standards of accountability? Often referred to by its initials, NCLB, this act has proven

A: No Child Left Behind

Q: What third party’s Congressional candidates won the most votes in the 2006 election?

A: Green Party

Q: What Treasury department bureau borrows money through the sale of U.S. Treasury
bonds and Treasury bills?

A: Bureau of Public Debt

Q: What cabinet department is charged with the management of the natural resources of the
United States?

A: Department of the Interior

Q: What is the name of the legislative body in Israel?

A: Knesset

Q: What is the name of the lower house of the Russian legislature?

A: Duma

Q: What term refers to a system of duties imposed by a government on imported or exported


A: Tariff

Q: What is the term for a formal charge of having committed a serious criminal offense? In
the United States, these are usually handed down by Grand Juries.

A: indictment

Q: What is the term for the collected general and permanent federal law of the United
States? The same word is used to describe Hammurabi’s set of laws.

A: Code

Q: What term refers to government restrictions limiting the use of areas of land to a
particular type of building, enterprise, or activity, such as residences or industrial use?

A: zoning

Q: What term is used to refer to a self-governing, autonomous political units affiliated with a
“mother” nation? Puerto Rico has this relationship with the United States, and four of the
states technically have this designation as well.

A: Commonwealth

Q: What is the term for the process of ending a filibuster?

A: Cloture
Q: What daily publication contains all debates and discussions that occur on the floor of the
U.S. Congress?

A: The Congressional Record

Q: What phrase was designated the national motto of the United States by Congress on July
30, 1956?

A: “In God We Trust”

Q: What is the minimum duration of citizenship specified in the Constitution for a person to
serve in the House of Representatives?

A: 7 years

Q: How many federal Court of Appeals are there? Four of the Supreme Court Justices
oversee two instead of one.

A: 13

Q: In what decade was the first Civil rights Act passed in the United States? It was signed
into law by Andrew Johnson.

A: 1860’s

Q: Which Constitutional Amendment states: “ The powers not delegated to the United States
by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states
respectively, or to the people.”?

A: 10th

Q: Which Constitutional amendment is the shortest, consisting of only 27 words?

Those 27
words are “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

A: 2nd

Q: Numerically, which congress will convene in 2007?

A: 110th

Q: How long is the term of office for the United Nations Secretary General?

A: Ten years
Q: How many senators are needed to end a filibuster?

A: 60

Q: Within five years, when was the current Illinois Constitution adopted?

A: 1970 (1965-1975)

Q: How many coin denominations are currently produced by the U.S. mint?

A: 6

Q: Identify either of the two United States Senators from Utah. (as of 11/14/06)

A: Orrin Hatch or Robert Bennett

Q: Identify either of the two United States Senators from Kentucky.

A: Mitch McConnell or Jim Bunning

Q: Identify either of the two United States Senators from Oregon as of September 27, 2006.

A: Gordon Smith or Ron Wyden

Q: Who is the current Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court? (as of 9/21/05)

A: Robert Thomas

Q: Who is the most recent Republican president to complete two terms in office?

A: Ronald Reagan

Q: Who is currently the United States Secretary of Commerce? (as of 10/1/05)

A: Carlos M. Gutierrez

Q: Who is the current comptroller of Illinois? (as of 11/3/05)

A: Daniel Hynes

Q: Warren Christopher served as Secretary of State under what president?

A: Bill Clinton
Q: Who is the current director of the FBI? (as of 4/10/06)

A: Robert Mueller

Q: What United States President is the most recent one to not have held any prior elected
office? This president had a distinguished military career.

A: Dwight Eisenhower

Q: Who is the current Democratic Whip in the United States House of Representatives?

A: Steny Hoyer

Q: What United States president once stated “Politics gives guys so much power that they
tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that.”?

A: Bill Clinton

Q: What former Missouri congressman ran unsuccessfully for president twice, in 1988 and

A: Richard Gephardt

Q: Who is the current President of Egypt?

A: Hosni Mubarak

Q: Which Supreme Court Associate Justice was most recently seated?

A: Samuel A. Alito

Q: Who preceded Kim Jong-Il as leader of North Korea?

A: Kim Il-Sung

Q: Who served as the first Secretary of War?

A: Henry Knox

Q: Who is the current Secretary of Energy? (as of 11/29/06)

A: Samuel Bodman
Q: Identify the states governed by these individuals: (as of 10/2/05)

1. Christine Gregoire. 1. Washington

2. Dave Heineman 2. Nebraska
3. Willard Mitt Romney 3. Massachusetts
4. Robert L. Ehrlich 4. Maryland

Q: Identify the states governed by these people: (answers current as of 11/14/06)

1. Mike Huckabee 1. Arkansas

2. Phil Bredesen 2. Tennessee
3. Joe Manchin 3. West Virginia
4. Thomas Vilsack 4. Iowa

Q: Identify the states that were or are represented by these Senators:

1. Henry Clay 1. Kentucky

2. Everett Dirksen 2. Illinois
3. Lyndon Johnson 3. Texas
4. Robert Byrd 4. West Virginia

Q: Identify either of the U.S. Senators from these states: (as of 12/12/06)

1. Utah. 1. Orrin Hatch or Robert Bennett

2. Delaware. 2. Joseph Biden or Thomas Carper
3. Arkansas. 3. Blanche Lincoln or Mark Pyror
4. Pennsylvannia. 4. Arlen Specter or Rick Santorum
5. Kansas 5. Sam Brownback or Pat Roberts
6. Georgia 6. Saxby Chambliss or Johnny Isakson
7. Florida 7. Mel Martinez or Bill Nelson
8. Indiana 8. Evan Bayh or Richard Lugar
9. Oregon 9. Ron Wyden or Gordon Smith
10. New Mexico 10. Jeff Bingaman or Pete Domenici
11. West Virginia 11. Robert Byrd or John Rockefeller
12. Alabama 12. Jeff Sessions or Richard Shelby
13. Alaska 13. Lisa Murkowski or Ted Stevens
14. Arizona 14. John McCain or Jon Kyl
Q: Identify the holders of these federal positions: (as of 11/25/06)

1. The President’s Chief of Staff

2. President of the Senate
3. Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
4. EPA Administrator
5. Postmaster General

1. Josh Bolten
2. Dick Cheney
3. John Walters
4. Stephen Johnson
5. John Potter

Q: Identify these slang terms which often are used to describe government inefficiency:

1. Expenditure of public money on usually worthless public projects.

2. Appropriations for projects which helps a Congressman politically.
3. Procedures and forms used in carrying out policy which is slow.
4. Bill that acts as a shell where legislators attach pet projects.

1. Boondoggle
2. Pork barrel or Pork
3. Red tape
4. Christmas tree

Q: Identify these terms used in the Senate:

1. Agreement setting terms for the consideration of a specified bill or measure.

2. When the Senate reconvenes in an even-numbered year following the November

general elections to consider various items of business.
3. Senators designated to lead and organize considerations of a bill or other measure
on the floor.
4. Informal term for a nongermane amendment to a bill or an amendment to an
appropriation bill that changes the permanent law governing a program funded by
the bill.

1. Unanimous consent agreements

2. “Lame duck” session
3. Floor managers
4. Rider
Q: Identify these Federal agencies and organizations from their acronyms or initials:

1. FEMA 1. Federal Emergency Management Agency

2. NIH 2. National Institutes of Health
3. NSA 3. National Security Agency
4. TVA 4. Tennessee Valley Authority

Q: Identify the following international organizations from their acronyms or initials:

1. NATO 1. North Atlantic Treaty Organization

2. CIS 2. Commonwealth of Independent States
3. WTO 3. World Trade Organization
4. ICJ 4. International Court of Justice

Q: Identify the parties who selected the following Federal officers, according to the original,
un-amended Constitution:

1. The President
2. United States Senators
3. Supreme Court Justices
4. Members of the House of Representatives

1. Electoral College
2. State legislatures
3. President (With senatorial confirmation)
4. The People (Individual voters)

Q: Identify these current Supreme Court Justices:

1. Appointed in 1993; served on the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals; survived colon
cancer in 1999.
2. Appointed in 1994; formerly on the faculty at Harvard; apart from the Chief
Justice, the youngest member of the court.
3. Appointed in 1975; born in Chicago; former Navy intelligence officer.
4. Appointed in 1986; noted for his adherence to textualism, known by the nickname

1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2. Stephen Breyer
3. John paul Stevens
4. Antonin Scalia
Q: Identify the President that appointed these Supreme Court Justices:

1. Clarence Thomas
2. Antonin Scalia
3. John Jay
4. John Paul Stevens

1. George H. W. Bush
2. Ronald Reagan
3. George Washington
4. Gerald Ford

Q: Identify these "D" legal terms:

1. A written and signed document which sets out the things that have to be done or
recognitions of the parties towards a certain object. This often refers to real
2. A cash compensation ordered by a court to offset losses or suffering caused by
another's fault or negligence.
3. An attack on the good reputation of a person, by slander or libel.
4. The official statement by a witness taken in writing.

1. Deed
2. Damages
3. Defamation
4. Deposition

Q: Identify the Constitutional amendment from its first 20 words, or its full text:

1. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime,

unless on a presentment or indictment...
2. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments inflicted.
3. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no
person who has held...
4. After one year the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or
transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importantion...

1. 5th
2. 8th
3. 22nd
4. 18th
Q: Identify the Constitutional amendment from its first ten words:

1. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in...

2. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for...
3. In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy...
4. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes...
5. The Judicial power of the United States shall not be…

1. 3rd
2. 13th
3. 7th
4. 16th
5. 11th

Q: Identify the number of the Constitutional amendment described:

1. Prohibited establishment of a federal religion

2. Authorized income tax
3. Woman’s suffrage
4. Presidential vote for the District of Columbia

1. 1st
2. 16th
3. 19th
4. 22nd

Q: Identify the Cabinet department that oversees the following agencies, bureaus, or

1. Customs 1. Treasury
2. Coast Guard (during peacetime) 2. Homeland Security
3. Food Stamps 3. Agriculture
4. Bureau of Prisons 4. Justice

Q: Identify the cabinet post held by each of these groups of people:

1. Thomas Ewing, James R. Garfield, Gale Ann Norton

2. Edmund Randolph, Edward Bates, Ramsey Clark
3. Robert Weaver, Jack Kemp, Henry Cisneros
4. William Seward, John Sherman, Cyrus Vance

1. Secretary of the Interior

2. Attorney General
3. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
4. Secretary of State
Q: Answer the following about becoming a United States Senator:

1. What amendment changed the election process of Senators?

2 - 4. What are the three qualifications required by the Constitution to serve in the
United States Senate?

1. 17th Amendment
2 -4. must be at least 30 years of age
must have been a citizen of the United States for 9 years
must reside in state from which the Senator was elected

Q: Identify the middle names, if any, of these United States presidents:

1. Gerald Ford. 1. Rudolph

2. James Polk. 2. Knox
3. Abraham Lincoln. 3. None
4. Grover Cleveland 4. Grover (Stephen was his first name)

Q: Identify the vice presidents for these United States Presidents. In the case of multiple
VP’s any will do.

1. George Washington. 1. John Adams

2. Andrew Jackson. 2. Martin Van Buren or John Calhoun
3. Dwight Eisenhower. 3. Richard Nixon
4. Lyndon Johnson. 4. Hubert Humphrey

Q: Identify the presidents each of the following vice presidents served under:

1. Harry Truman. 1. Franklin Roosevelt

2. Thomas Jefferson 2. John Adams
3. Walter Mondale 3. Jimmy Carter
4. Theodore Roosevelt 4. William McKinley

Q: Identify the President that appointed these Supreme Court Justices:

1. Clarence Thomas. 1. George H.W. Bush

2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 2. Bill Clinton
3. John Jay. 3. George Washington
4. Sandra Day O’Connor. 4. Ronald Reagan
5. Henry Livingston in 1807 5. Thomas Jefferson
6. Salmon Chase in 1864 6. Abraham Lincoln
7. Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1902 7. Theodore Roosevelt
Q: Identify the holders of these posts in George H. W. Bush’s cabinet. If more than one
person served in a office, give only one name:

1. Secretary of State. 1. Jim Baker or Lawrence Eagleburger

2. Secretary of Defense. 2. Dick Cheney
3. Attorney General. 3. Richard Thornburgh or William Barr
4. Secretary of the Treasury. 4. Nicholas Brady

Q: Identify the final holders of the following Cabinet positions under Bill Clinton.

1. Secretary of State. 1. Madeleine Abright

2. Secretary of Defense. 2. William Cohen
3. Secretary of Education. 3. Richard Riley
4. Attorney General. 4. Janet Reno

Q: Answer the following about both the youngest and oldest person ever to be Secretary of
Defense, Donald Rumsfeld:

1. Who was the President the first time he held the post?
2. In what state was he born?
3. Which branch of the military did he serve in?
4. What pharmaceutical company did he head from 1977 to 1985?

1. Gerald Ford
2. Illinois
3. Navy
4. Searle

Q: Identify these heads of government or state in the following nations:

(info current as of 11/20/06)

1. Prime Minister of the Netherlands

2. Prime Minister of Greece
3. President of Ukraine
4. President of Zimbabwe

1. Jan Peter Balkenende

2. Konstandinos Karamanlis
3. Viktor Yushchenko
4. Robert Mugabe