Photo of Jeffrey Sikkenga

Jeffrey Sikkenga

The U.S. Supreme Court has played a large role in U.S. history, at times reflecting the mass sentiment of the era and at other times disregarding popular views to extend rights to our citizens.

The court, which begins its next term Monday, Oct. 1, has been much in the news lately.

Many citizens have a limited understanding of American history and our unique form of constitutional government.

Without this knowledge, how can we expect them to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the court and several of its landmark decisions.


1. Who was the first chief justice of the Supreme Court?

2. Which U.S. president later served as chief justice of the Supreme Court?

3. Which article of the Constitution established a Supreme Court?

4. The Judiciary Act of 1789 divided the United States into 13 judicial districts and set the number of Supreme Court Justices, including the chief justice, at what number?

5. What did the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright, guarantee?

6. What key Supreme Court case found “that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place”?

7. The Supreme Court initially met in what city?

8. Who is the most recent woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court?

9. Who was the longest-serving justice in court history and how long did he serve?

10. The Supreme Court’s power of “judicial review” was affirmed in the 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison. What does "judicial review" mean?


Answers:  1-B, 2-A, 3-B, 4-A, 5-D, 6-C, 7-C, 8-B, 9-D, 10-A


About the Writer

Jeffrey Sikkenga, a professor of political science at Ashland University, is an adjunct fellow of the Ashbrook Center and author of Ashbrook’s coming compendium “The Supreme Court: 35 Core Decisions.” He wrote this for

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