Civics 101

One of my students who was naturalized a few years ago gave me the official guide that applicants receive to help them pass their citizenship test.  There are 100 questions followed by “the answer” and a paragraph of explanation. Two questions stood out to me:

1.  What is the Constitution?

2.  What is the most important right granted to citizens of the United States?

Let’s see if you can figure out the government-approved answers.

UPDATE:  The answers are:

1.  The supreme law of the land.

2.  Voting

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5 Responses

  1. Logan says:

    1) The document that govern’s the basic structure of our government.

    2) Voting.

    How wrong am I?

  2. Ken Rhodes says:

    I love that second question.

    To the NRA, it’s the right to bear arms.

    To criminals, it’s the right to remain silent.

    To giant multi-national corporations, as well as the Westboro Baptist Church, it’s the right to free speech.

    To Bob Guccione, it’s the right to a free press.

    To O.J. it’s the right to trial by jury.

  3. Jim Maloney says:

    My cynical responses:

    1. An ancient document that is nearly impossible to amend and that means not what it says but what five justices of the Supreme Court say it means.

    2. The right to maintain dual citizenship.

  4. Jim Maloney says:

    Alternative response to #2:

    “Objection: rights are not ‘granted.'”

  5. TJ says:

    So I’m pretty sure the government-approved answer to (2) is voting, which is at least mildly problematic because not every US citizen has the right to vote. If we follow Slaughterhouse, I guess the only rights secured to US citizens are to “demand the care and protection of the Federal government over his life, liberty, and property when on the high seas or within the jurisdiction of a foreign government,” “to use the navigable waters of the United States” and other “rights secured to our citizens by treaties with foreign nations,” to the extent any of that final category are unique to US citizens. Not sure which ones of those rights can be deemed “the most important.”