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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The New Citizenship Test

A new citizenship test was recently unveiled. Take a look and see how you would do. 

One thing I always find amusing about the tests is that way that the group of acceptable answers is limited. For example, there is a question that says "Name one document that influenced the drafting of the Constitution." Suppose I said "Magna Carta." That is wrong according to the test. Why? I have no idea--it just didn't make the list of correct answers.

Another question that is getting attention is the one about who Senators represent. The old answer was "all of the people of a state." The new answer is"all of the citizens of a state." I'm not clear what this is correct. If a legal permanent resident in a state asks his or her Senator for help, are they not entitled to help? Citizen children don't vote for Senators, but Senators still represent them. Why not legal permanent residents?

Then, of course, there is "How are changes made to the U.S. Constitution?" If I said, "sometimes by the Supreme Court," I would be wrong. Maybe I would just do poorly on the citizenship test.

Posted by Gerard Magliocca on November 17, 2020 at 08:12 AM | Permalink


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Posted by: Liam Joshon | Feb 27, 2021 8:59:49 AM

The federalist and anti-federalist papers clearly influenced the Bill of Rights, which is part of the constitution.

But then, even more clearly, so did the (English) Bill of Rights, which is not listed as an acceptable answer.

Posted by: Salem | Nov 24, 2020 5:06:40 AM

As to influences to the Constitution, something like the Spirit of the Laws or something by John Locke would seem to be on the short list more than the Iroquois Great Law of Peace or something.

Posted by: Joe | Nov 18, 2020 10:41:17 AM

Regarding the influencing documents question, I'm more concerned that it lists the Federalist papers and Anti-Federalist papers. How was the constitution influenced by a series of essays written AFTER it was drafted and written for the purposes of advocacy of or against the Constitution. They may influence how we interpret it, but they certainly didn't influence the document itself

Posted by: Matt | Nov 18, 2020 8:01:12 AM

18. What part of the federal government writes laws?

(U.S.) Congress
(U.S. or national) legislature
Legislative branch

--Those answers are unlikely to be an unsuccessful defense for an individual subject to an enforcement action based on an agency rulemaking, "delegation fiction" be damned.

Posted by: Lon Fuller is not pleased | Nov 17, 2020 9:57:58 AM

w.r.t. the point about the Magna Carta, per the linked content: “USCIS is aware that there may be additional correct answers to the civics questions”.

Posted by: hardreaders | Nov 17, 2020 8:42:10 AM

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