Dumbest Citizenship Test Question

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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12 Responses

  1. TJ says:

    The question is way to vague, since I can add notable facts from “being on the $100 bill” to “signer of the Declaration of Independence” to “accomplished scientist and inventor.”

  2. nidefatt says:

    Kites and keys, bifocals, other such things come to mind

  3. paean says:

    “6. all of the above”

  4. Steven Lubet says:

    He was the founder of the Pennsylvania Anti-slavery Society.

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  5. mtb says:

    Well, Jefferson gets all the credit, but he really was one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Plus, he was president — of Pennsylvania. But if you are looking beyond citizenship, I’d say his experiments with electricity were pretty important.

  6. Adam says:


  7. Veracitor says:

    Come on, friends! Obviously the one thing missing is a WRONG answer, so the prospective citizen who is just guessing about Ben Franklin can have a ~20% chance of missing the question! (It diminishes the dignity of the United States to have a citizenship test you can’t even fail if you want to.)

  8. Sam Bagenstos says:

    Inventor of the stove, of course.

  9. Jimbino says:

    First Atheist among all those Deists and the superstitious Romanists, Jews and Puritans.

  10. Nicole Huberfeld says:

    Founder of the University of Pennsylvania (as well as “all of the above”).

  11. Ray Campbell says:

    Author of arguably the best American autobiography, and inventor of the self-improvement genre.

  12. Edward Still says:

    He was not Postmaster General of the US, but of the North American colonies under the British Crown.