Constitutional Trivia – 10 Very Tough Questions
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Questions 1 – 3
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Question 1 – What two men had the greatest influence on the philosophy found in the Constitution?

While there may be some debate over this answer, most agree the two men with the greatest impact on the philosophy found in the constitution were John Locke and Montesquieu [his full name was: Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Bréde et de Montesquieu – if you knew that, even Alex Trebeck would likely give you a hi-five].

John Locke is considered to be one of the most influential political philosophers of all time. He was an Englishman that lived in the mid-to-late 17th Century and developed and wrote about many political theories, including separation of powers within a government, theory of the mind, social contract theory, labor theory, supply and demand theory, among many others. His most well known written work was Two Treaties of Government.

Montesquieu employed and perfected many of Locke’s theories. He lived during the late 17th Century to mid 18th Century in France. Montesquieu is regarded as one of the greatest French philosophers and his book, Spirit of the Laws, had a lasting impact on the founding fathers that attended the constitutional conventions and drafted the U.S. Constitution.

Question 2 – Which position has the longest term of office in the federal government, aside from federal judges?

The Comptroller General of the United States and the Assistant Comptroller General have the longest tenure at 15 years each. (See: Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 18; Art. I. sec. 9, cl. 7; and Art. II, sec. 2, cl. 2).

Question 3 – Are U.S. Supreme Court justices, U.S. Senators, and U.S. Representatives considered "civil officials" of the United States?

Justices are "civil officials" of the U.S. However, Senators and Representatives are likely not civil officials. This is because the constitution makes clear distinctions between legislators and officials in multiple sections of the constitution. For example, members of Congress are not subject to impeachment like a "civil official" generally would be. But members of Congress are subject to expulsion by the vote of the House or Senate of which they are members (See: Art. I, sec. 5, cl. 2).

How are you doing so far? We told you these weren’t your regular run-of-the-mill questions…but we’re sure you’re eager for more.

Next, we’ll explore questions 4 – 6.