tv Supreme Court Trivia CSPAN November 25, 2018 1:15pm-2:01pm EST
c-span. up next on american history tv, two teams of litigators face off in a trivia competition, answering questions on the history of the united states supreme court. the national constitution center and heritage foundation cohosted the contest. it's about 45 minutes. >> good evening. i'm elizabeth slattery. welcome to the heritage foundation. on behalf of heritage from the national constitution center, thank you for coming to our supreme trivia event. we can hear one of our teams out there. they will be coming out in just a minute. we have two teams tonight of top supreme court litigators who are ready to go head-to-head in rounds of trivia about the supreme court's history, trivia, scandals, and much more. before we introduce the teams, i would like to introduce my cohost, representing the national constitution center, sheldon gilberts. >> thank you.
elizabeth: thanks for being here. sheldon: welcome to the super bowl for law nerds. we will kick things off by introducing the teams. it is my privilege to introduce team jefferson. with team jefferson -- >> boo! [laughter] sheldon: the heckling has already started. come on out, team jefferson. we start with lisa blatt, who heads up -- [applause] lisa blatt heads up arnold & porter's supreme court practice. someone recently said sometimes a superstar is just a superstar. lisa is a superstar among superstars. she has argued more cases at the supreme court than any other woman, and she has won 94% of her cases, which is a remarkable record. welcome, lisa. [applause] next up we have ian gershengorn.
he has held such fantastic positions as acting solicitor general of the united states for the obama administration and with over 12 oral arguments under his belt is ready to compete today. welcome, ian. [applause] and last, but definitely not least, charles rothfeld. charles is special counsel at mayer brown. he has worked on over 200 supreme court cases in his career, and he is often hailed as someone who is 12 moves above everybody else. he literally wrote the book on federal appellate practice and i brought it for him to sign. welcome, charles. [laughter] [applause] elizabeth: all right, and for team madison, come on out. team madison. [laughter] come on down. here they come. so, first up -- [laughter] he's going to charge his phone. coming up we have john elwood, a partner at vinson & elkins,
author of the always enjoyable scotus blog. welcome, john. [applause] next up, we have paul larkin, resident supreme court expert. he cranks out law review articles on all kinds of things. he once served in the solicitor general's office and has argued dozens of cases at the supreme in court. welcome, paul. rounding out team madison is kevin marshall, a partner at jones day, one of the only ones left around after don raided the place for judges and a former bush administration lawyer. welcome, kevin. [applause] keeping score for us tonight is madison, no affiliation with team madison. we will check in with her throughout to see how the teams are doing. now for the ground rules. we will flip a special coin to determine which team starts.
then we will alternate reading questions by team. team members may confer with one another before answering. if the team answers incorrectly or doesn't know the answer, the opposing team may steal the question. regardless of whether the opponent gets it right or not, they get the next question, and so on. each question is worth one point -- each answer is worth one point, and there will be six rounds of questions. the final round will be a rapid response round with 10 questions per team. in the event of a tie, we will do another rapid response round until we have a winner. the team that lost the coin flip will go first at the very last question, so we have an even distribution of questions for both teams. at the end of an hour, one team will be named the victors and awarded the supreme trivia champion gavel you see here on stage. with that, let's toss the coin and get started. sheldon: all right. so, this coin has chief justice john marshall on one side and the supreme court on the other,
so it only seems appropriate if it comes up marshall madison wins. with that, we will toss the coin. and it does come up marshall, so madison goes first. all right. elizabeth: are you ready? first question, and this is from the category supreme quotes. which justice wrote that three generations of imbeciles are enough? >> [inaudible] elizabeth: that is correct. that is one point for team madison. sheldon: making a case for bonus points. >> i don't want to show off. [laughter] sheldon: team jefferson, in which case did justice antonin scalia call the majority's reasoning "pure applesauce"?
>> obergefell. elizabeth: next question for team madison. which justice popularized the phrase, "i know it when i see it"? >> potter stewart. elizabeth: that is correct. do you know what the context was? >> it was obscenity. what is it? like janice yellow versus -- elizabeth: we don't need the name of it. >> do you want the r or the x-rated answer? [laughter] elizabeth: that is a point for team madison. next question for team jefferson. sheldon: which justice is credited with coining the phrase "the right to privacy" in an 1890 law review article? >> brandeis. sheldon: that's correct.
very good. [applause] [laughter] >> we have to celebrate the victories when they come. elizabeth: team madison, which chief justice coined the phrase "evolving standards of decency," which has become a touchstone for the court's eighth amendment jurisprudence? >> we will go with earl warren. elizabeth: that is correct. point for team madison. [applause] sheldon: this is a particularly heavy question. which chief justice -- [laughter] but the supreme court goes on forever? >> someone told me this was a rap trivia. [laughter] sheldon: misleading questions. elizabeth: it's a hefty question. sheldon: come on.
>> taft. sheldon: taft is right, who, of course was president and justice. [laughter] elizabeth: next question. last term, chief justice john roberts wrote that the infamous korematsu decision had been overruled by history. a similar phrase appeared in a 1965 dissenting opinion in a sherman antitrust act case. who wrote this? i can give you a hint, it is a just -- a justice that later left the court to become an ambassador. >> arthur goldberg. sheldon: was the hint too much? that is correct. [laughter] sheldon: all right. team jefferson. which long serving justice argued in a dissent that just as a corporation is considered a person before the courts, quote, so it should be as respect to groves of trees, swampland, or even air? which justice says that air can
file a lawsuit? [laughter] >> justice douglas. sheldon: justice douglas is correct. [applause] elizabeth: next question for team madison. which staunch defender of democracy declared, if the people want to go to hell, i will help them with it? >> oliver wendell holmes. elizabeth: that is correct. [applause] that concludes the first category. we will now move on to before they were justices. sheldon: this category is before they were justices. the first question is about byron winter white, who took a leave of absence during law school to play professional football. what team did he play for? >> detroit lions. sheldon: correct. very good. [applause]
elizabeth: he earned $15,000 per season. pretty impressive. ok. next up, which future justice fought to have the first ritual batmitzvah in her synagogue? arguing it was "no less important than the ritual of bar mitzvah for boys"? >> kagan. elizabeth: that is correct. and at the ceremony, she read from the book of ruth. another point for team madison. sheldon: here we go. team jefferson. jefferson, this is for you. which future great chief justice married the daughter of thomas jefferson's lost love, much to the dismay of jefferson? >> king versus burwell again? [laughter] >> we will go with marshall. sheldon: that's correct. chief justice john marshall, very good. when john marshall popped the
question to polly, his love, she was so shocked that she ran off without answering him and finally sent back a lock of hair. with a yes answer. it is still on display in richmond. team madison. which future justice work as a -- worked as a page in the california legislature and played alongside the children of then governor earl warren, who also went on to serve on the supreme court? >> my former employer, anthony kennedy. elizabeth: that is correct. [applause] sheldon: all right. here we go. which future chief justice was responsible for adding "in god we trust" to u.s. currency? you need to be civil about this. elizabeth: i think there is something fishy about this question. sheldon: come on. >> case.
sheldon: that's right. justice case. very good. elizabeth: which future justice who has a reputation of being somewhat absent-minded was in a bicycle accident shortly before his interview with the president for a seat on the supreme court? >> stephen breyer. elizabeth: that's correct. unfortunately for justice breyer at that time, the seat went to ruth bader ginsburg. but the following year, president clinton would tap him for another vacancy. sheldon: all right. when he was a child which future justice and lifelong chicago cubs fan attended the 1932 world series game where babe ruth hit the famed "called shot" home run? >> and he has the scorecard in his office still. it is justice stevens. sheldon: that's right. very good. excellent. he attended the 2016 world series and rooted for his beloved chicago cubs. elizabeth: ok.
we are now moving to the next category. presidents and justices. let's do a quick check of our score. [laughter] 8-7. it's a close game. all right. are you ready? in reference to chief justice earl warren and justice william brennan, which president said, "i made two mistakes as president, and both of them are sitting on the supreme court"? [laughter] >> eisenhower. elizabeth: that is correct. point for team madison. sheldon: ok. this one may or may not be apocryphal. which president said "john marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it"? in reference to an opinion holding that georgia had no constitutional authority to regulate persons visiting cherokee land. >> president jackson. sheldon: president jackson, that's right. very good. the case was war chester versus
georgia. elizabeth: which president in a weekly chat announced his plan to bring constant flow of new and younger blood into the judiciary? >> for lack of a better answer, we will go with fdr. elizabeth: that is correct. he said this in one of his fireside chats. discussing his court packing plan. sheldon: ok. which president, known for his hardball tactics as a senator, manufactured a supreme court vacancy by nominating the son of one of the justices to be attorney general? >> johnson. sheldon: that's right. lyndon johnson. he successfully persuaded justice tom clark to retire after nominating his son to be the attorney general. elizabeth: all right. next question. which president generally regarded as one of the least effective presidents holds the record for the most failed supreme court nominations?
>> fillmore. elizabeth: that is incorrect. team jefferson, would you like to steal the question? >> buchanan. elizabeth: that is incorrect. it is john tyler with eight nominations that either were rejected by the senate or otherwise withdrawn in a year and a half. [laughter] next question. it goes back to team jefferson. sheldon: all right, team jefferson. which future justice asked his uncle, the president, for the coveted job of u.s. attorney for virginia only to have his uncle turn him down because he was opposed to nepotism?
elizabeth: he has quite a name. >> washington. sheldon: that's right. bushrod washington. very good. according to a former justice coming he could not persuade his uncle, george washington, to name him u.s. attorney for virginia. bushrod turned out ok. just a year after president washington left office, president john adams nominated the 36-year-old, bushrod washington, to the supreme court. elizabeth: all right. we are moving to a new category, supreme scandals. let's first check in with madison. we have a tie. all right. team madison, are you ready? sheldon: this is the best category. [laughter] elizabeth: who is the only justice to resign under threat of impeachment?
>> [inaudible] elizabeth: that is correct. after it came to light he had accepted a bribe in exchange for seeking a presidential pardon for a former client who was faced with securities fraud charges. sheldon: all right. which justice killed a man in a duel? which justice killed a man in a duel? in fairness, there are two possible answers. elizabeth: surprising though it may be, there are two. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> maybe we should go with that. sheldon: i think go with your first instinct. >> marshall. sheldon: i'm sorry, it's not marshall. there are two. elizabeth: let's see if team madison wants to steal. team madison?
>> our first answer is stephen field. elizabeth: no. >> can we give another one? [laughter] elizabeth: why not? >> livingston. elizabeth: that is correct. do we give them half a point? >> so, fields wasn't a duel, is that the idea? [laughter] elizabeth: why don't you share what happened in the two duels? sheldon: justice henry was punched in the nose by an angry federalist, so he killed a man in a duel in 1798 in new jersey. number one. as the other justice who killed a man in a duel killed a businessman in a duel in 1803, about 30 years before he joined the supreme court, and it didn't
kill his nomination. [laughter] elizabeth: ok. so now the question -- whose question is this? team madison. ok. which future justice tipped off the fbi about an attempt by communists to infiltrate the civil rights organization he headed up? >> thurgood marshall. elizabeth: that is correct. he ran the naacp legal defense fund. sheldon: all right. which justice was a vocal anti-semite and would leave the room when his colleague and first jewish justice, louis brandeis, would speak? >> justice mcreynolds. sheldon: that is correct. justice mcreynolds. not a nice guy. apparently, none of his supreme court colleagues attended his funeral. elizabeth: shocker. [laughter] >> good for them. elizabeth: next question for
team madison. which justice weathered four impeachment attempts and as many wives during his 36 years on the supreme court? >> the one, the only, william o. douglass. elizabeth: that is right. i think we could have filled an entire category with his scandals. there are entire books written about him. sheldon: all right. this is another rather violent one. on the receiving end, not killing someone this time. which justice was attacked on a train by california supreme court justice david terry after ruling against his wife's suit for divorce from her first husband? this is the longest-serving justice, who was nominated by lincoln. [laughter]
>> the 12th. elizabeth: and paul was there. [laughter] >> we have to pass. elizabeth: ok. team madison? >> fields. elizabeth: that is correct. stephen johnson field. [laughter] elizabeth: i knew you were waiting for him to appear. ok. team madison, which infamous justice had an equally infamous father who drunkenly murdered a neighbor and fled from maryland to virginia to escape conviction?
we need an answer. [laughter] >> filibuster. [laughter] sheldon: go-ahead. >> a shot in the dark, james wilson. elizabeth: that is not correct. team jefferson? >> [inaudible] elizabeth: that is correct. sheldon: you can't blame his dad for being the one to sully the family name. all right. this goes back to team jefferson. ok. which justice's nomination was marred by allegations of cronyism leading to the narrowest confirmation vote, 24-23, in supreme history, so far at least? closest vote. elizabeth: that's the only thing i know about this justice. this, too. sheldon: no other justice has
been confirmed by just one vote. elizabeth: so far. any guesses? ok. >> stephen matthews. elizabeth: hmm. i don't know if we can give that to them. sheldon: that's pretty close. elizabeth: it is pretty close. it is stanley matthews. ok, they get the point. sheldon: no one should know his name. elizabeth: ok. team madison. which justice skipped oral arguments to deal with creditors and ended up in debtors prison twice while serving on the supreme court? [laughter] elizabeth: i will give you a hint, he was one of the original six justices. >> james wilson. elizabeth: that is correct. point for team madison. ok.
>> boy, you know the current people are boring compared to this. elizabeth: they really are. sheldon: all we have are baseball tickets these days. [laughter] which justice was nicknamed old bacon face, perhaps because his face would become so read when -- red when making fiery speeches against his political opponents during the contentious 1800 election? he is on the bench. and he is making fun of his political opponent in that election. elizabeth: should we give them a hint? >> yes, you should. [laughter] >> rutledge. sheldon: it was not rutledge, but that's always a good guess with scandals. elizabeth: team madison, would
you like to steal? >> sure. samuel chase. elizabeth: that is correct. all right. next question, oh, and we are moving to a new category. name that chief justice. first, let's check in with madison. >> madison is winning. elizabeth: madison is winning. it is 17-12. so, still a pretty close game. they stole. ok. next question. sandra day o'connor attended law school with this future supreme court colleague and they briefly dated. >> rehnquist. elizabeth: that is correct. they both attended stanford law school. sheldon: this is a little harder than the last one. elizabeth: this was one of
yours. sheldon: the really easy questions are from me. i just want everyone to know that. elizabeth: not true. sheldon: which justice and future chief justice resigned in 1916 after he was nominated as the republican party's candidate for president in a surprising third ballot of the national convention? >> hughes? sheldon: that is correct. he lost to woodrow wilson. he later returned as chief justice. about 16 years later. elizabeth: ok. next question for team madison. which early chief justice resigned and later turned down a second chance to be chief justice after the senate had already confirmed him?
sheldon: this is intense. [laughter] elizabeth: we are going to need an answer. >> can we call a lifeline? [laughter] elizabeth: i don't think so. >> jay. elizabeth: that is correct. it was john jay, our very first chief justice. he resigned when he was elected governor of new york. six years later, president adams nominated him a second time, but he declined the appointment, and adams went on to select john marshall to be the chief justice. sheldon: all right. team jefferson. a majority of current justices today are catholic, but in history there have only been 13 catholic justices. this infamous chief justice was the first. that's the second time infamous has been used. [laughter] >> we will go with taney. sheldon: that's right.
taney, best known for writing dred scott. elizabeth: next question. which chief justice appointed by nixon founded the supreme court historical society in 1974 and served as the honorary chairman until his death? >> to quote homer simpson, hmm, burger. [laughter] elizabeth: that is correct. it was chief justice warren burger. sheldon: no bonus points for quoting homer simpson, though. [laughter] all right. team jefferson. after learning that the senate had rejected his nomination to chief justice, which sitting justice threw himself into the charleston bay? only to be saved. he was so despond and. elizabeth: he was having a bad week. sheldon: he was having a bad week. i can give you a hint.
his nomination failed after he referred to the jay treaty as "prostitution." it didn't go over well with some people who were supporting the treaty. he's the first presidential nominee ever to be rejected by the senate in any capacity. >> i think lisa should answer this one. [laughter] >> i knew the other question. [laughter] >> we will say rutledge. sheldon: rutledge is correct. very good. excellent. [applause] elizabeth: well done. team madison, next question. which chief justice granted the motion of the first african-american attorney to be admitted to the supreme court bar, the same day president lincoln signed the 13th amendment? >> morrison waite. elizabeth: that is incorrect.
team jefferson, would you like to steal? sheldon: when he granted the motion, his private notes called [indiscernible] >> salmon chase. elizabeth: that is correct. sheldon: very good. elizabeth: well done. not taney. all right. so, now, it's back to team jefferson. sheldon: ok. elizabeth: which chief justice, a wisconsin native, is credited with the supreme court's dogged insistence to remain open for snow days, even when most other federal offices have shut down? >> [inaudible] elizabeth: that is correct.
another point for team jefferson. sheldon: jefferson has closed the gap. elizabeth: at this point we are going to enter the final round of scotus simplified. rapid response round. first, let's check on the score. 20-17. ok, with this round, we ended with team jefferson, so we will go back to team madison. so, now we are going to give you simplified headlines for supreme court decisions and you will have a brief amount of time to tell us the name of that case. are you ready? each team gets 10 questions. team madison, are you ready? >> as ready as we will ever be. >> do we get to confer? elizabeth: yes, you can. you can confer briefly. tomatoes are vegetables.
if you want to pass, that's fine. sheldon: or dissent. elizabeth: or dissent. >> we will pass that one. elizabeth: ok. next, women can be cadets. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. next question. madison can you ding for us? [laughter] next question, mr. rogers helped save the betamax. >> sony. elizabeth: i think that's -- sony corp. versus universal studios. [laughter] no unemployment benefits for peyote smokers. >> plymouth plymouth division versus [inaudible] elizabeth: that's correct. forced sterilization is ok.
>> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. man becomes president. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. burglar gets a lawyer. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that's correct. ding, ding. [laughter] no selling skim milk filled with coconut water. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. next, it's ok for amish teens to be truant. >> wisconsin vs. [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. your final question, poisoning your husband's lover, not an international arms violation. [laughter] [inaudible] elizabeth: that is correct.
do you want to circle back to tomatoes are vegetables? are we still passing on that one? >> not a clue. elizabeth: ok. sheldon: should we give that to them? elizabeth: great job, team madison. time for team jefferson's lightning round. before we begin, do you know which case the court decided that tomatoes are vegetables. >> no. [laughter] sheldon: it was [indiscernible] it was about customs regulations. elizabeth: from the 1890's. look it up. it's a good one. sheldon: all right. ethnic french butchers lose their jobs. butchers unemployed. >> why were they ethnic? elizabeth: took a little flavor. it has a generic name. sheldon: generational french family. elizabeth: ok.
sheldon: all right. steamboat inventor loses monopoly. steamboat inventor loses monopoly. i'm trying to think if there is a good hint for that one. [laughter] straight to the next one, which is totally different. porn magazine can mock preacher. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that is correct. sheldon: and we'll switch from porn magazines to religious groups. religious group can sacrifice chickens. religious group can sacrifice chickens. >> florida. elizabeth: they are santeria. i think that's close enough. sheldon: it is a church that
rolls off the tongue. very good. all right. the air force has to pay for scaring chickens to death. [laughter] >> it sounds like lisa should know the answer. [laughter] elizabeth: did they get credited with a point for the chicken slaughter? ok, good. sheldon: you had other butchers. two butcher categories, now we have chickens again. all right. ok. rock band gets a trademark. >> [inaudible] sheldon: that's right. ok. we've done butchers, now we are bakers. bakers can work all day long.
bakers get to work long hours. >> lochner. sheldon: very good. german saboteurs are dead. [laughter] >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: correct. sheldon: i wasn't sure if anyone was going to get that one. schoolchildren don't have to salute the flag. schoolchildren don't have to salute the flag. elizabeth: the pair of sisters, if that helps at all. >> we all know what it is, but we are universally blanking on the name of the case. sheldon: if you can give me some of the -- >> it's two sisters. [laughter] elizabeth: they share a last name with a pretty well known law professor from around town.
libertarian law professor. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> we appreciate the hint. sheldon: all right. president can't take over a steel mill. president can't take over a steel mill. >> youngstown. sheldon: that's right. elizabeth: correct. all right. let's check in with the scorekeeper. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: not too shabby. well, we have enough time for one final round of scotus simplified. we will go back to team madison with just four questions. then you get your drink. [laughter] they asked if they could have beer onstage. i said no. first question. team madison, are you ready?
>> what's our category? elizabeth: this is scotus simplified. more of the same. i think sheldon wrote these, because they look hard. bill of rights don't apply to the territory of hawaii. that's a hint for one side of the caption. >> the insular cases? elizabeth: are they referred to as such? no? ok. sorry. next question. religious group can't pamphleteer in the airport. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: yes. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: that's correct. sorry. ok. no prayer at high school graduation.
>> lee versus wiseman. elizabeth: that is correct. final question, intergenerational marriage is not a crime. >> loving vs. virginia. elizabeth: that is correct. good job, team jefferson -- p madison. back over to team jefferson. sheldon: final question. states can ban women from practicing law. states can ban women from practicing law. >> [indiscernible] gradwell. elizabeth: ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. sheldon: all right. college trustees take back control of their school.
college trustees take back control of their school. >> dartmouth. sheldon: that's right. dartmouth college versus woodward. minnesota can't shut down a scandalous newspaper. elizabeth: i believe this was the case where the court incorporated the first amendment. free press clause, i believe. we will have to fact check that. just give us a little bit. >> state of minnesota. [laughter] elizabeth: is it far away or is it -- >> near. elizabeth: there you go. sheldon: ok. no school prayers.
elizabeth: a hint? >> [indiscernible] [laughter] we are praying now but it is not working. [laughter] elizabeth: i don't have a hint for this one. >> [indiscernible] elizabeth: with that, we have come to the end of our second round of scotus simplified. let's check in with madison to see which team -- >> team madison. [inaudible] elizabeth: i'd say that's a pretty respectable score for both teams, and that concludes our first ever and possibly last ever -- [laughter] supreme trivia here at the heritage foundation. [applause]
now, our victors will each get their very own gavel that says "2018 supreme trivia champion, the heritage foundation and national constitution center," and they will have personalized sounding blocks. that's the thing you bang the gavel on. i learned that recently. we will send them to you because we didn't order them in advance. anyway, please join me in congratulating team madison and thanking team jefferson. team jefferson gets to be first in line at the bar. [laughter] [applause] elizabeth: great job, guys. >> thank you very much.
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