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The Supreme Quiz

By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 6, 2003; 8:15 AM

Welcome to the ninth annual "First Monday in October" quiz, our warm-up for the Supreme Court's new term that begins today. Not only do you have to come up with the answers this year, you're going to be graded on your knowledge of court trivia. Before you put on your morning coat and present your arguments to the justices, here are a few questions to test your high court IQ.

1. The solicitor general of the United States, who argues cases for the federal government at the Supreme Court, is often called "the 10th justice." But when was the office of solicitor general created? (Two points.)

__ About the Supreme Court __

Interactive Primer: Biographies of each of the nine current justices and background information on court history and the process by which decisions are made.

2. How many former solicitors general have gone on to serve as members of the Supreme Court? (Three points.)

3. Name each one. (One point each.)

4. What is the street address of the Supreme Court's Capitol Hill building? (Two points.)

5. The late Justice William O. Douglas was a famous westerner who wrote a colorful memoir of his boyhood in Yakima, Wash. But in what state was Douglas born? (Three points.)

6. How many of the 108 people who have served on the court were not born in the United States? (Hint: Include justices born outside of the 13 colonies before independence.) (Five points.)

7. Name each of these justices. (Three points each.)

8. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. In what city was the board of education located? (One point.)

9. What was Brown's first name? (Three points.)

10. True or false: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had never witnessed an oral argument at the Supreme Court until October 1981, when she first sat on the bench as an associate justice. (One point.)

11. During the Supreme Court's October 2002 term, how many cases were decided on a 5 to 4 vote? (Two points.)

12. In those cases, how many times was O'Connor a member of the five-vote majority? (Two points.)

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