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LRC Online Services: Legal Trivia

This guide collects information about the resources that are available online through the Legal Research Center.

August 6 Trivia Question

Q: What does the legal phrase "nunc pro tunc" mean?

A: Nunc pro tunc (a Latin phrase meaning "now for then") refers to an order having retroactive legal effect through a court's inherent power. Nunc pro tunc orders are commonly used to correct errors or omissions in the judicial record.


July 30 Trivia Question

Q: Who was the first comic book superhero to have a secret identity as a lawyer?

A: The Clock was a masked superhero and the alter ego of District Attorney Brian O'Brien, who decided to become a district attorney by day and a vigilante by night. First appearing in 1936, The Clock predated Batman by nearly three years.


July 22 Trivia Question

Q: What is the oldest appellate court in the U.S.?

A: The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, which was established in 1722, is the oldest appellate court in the nation.


July 16 Trivia Question

Q: Who was the first Native American to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court?

A: Justice Gorsuch hired Tobi Young, an Oklahoma-born citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, to clerk for him in the 2018-19 term of the Court. She is believed to be the first enrolled citizen of a Native American tribe to serve as a law clerk at SCOTUS.


July 9 Trivia Question

Q: Where did Ruth Bader Ginsburg teach law prior to being appointed to the judiciary?

A: Justice Ginsburg was a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963-1972, and at Columbia Law School from 1972-1980.


July 2 Trivia Question

Q: Which U.S. President appointed the most federal judges?

A: Ronald Reagan appointed the most federal judges, with 402 confirmations. Jimmy Carter made the most judicial appointments relative to his term in office, averaging 65.5 judicial appointments per year.

Ronald Reagan portrait


June 25 Trivia Question

Q: What year was the U.S. Code established?

A: Congress established the U.S. Code in 1926, with the enactment of the act of June 30, 1926, chapter 712.

Picture of US Code volumes

June 18 Trivia Question

Q: When was the U.S. Supreme Court building completed?

A: The U.S. Supreme Court did not have a courthouse of its own until 1935, the 146th year of the Court's existence.

SCOTUS building

June 11 Trivia Question

Q: According to the United States Code, what is the national tree of the U.S.?

A: 36 U.S.C. § 305 designates the tree genus Quercus, commonly known as the oak tree, as the national tree. Congress designated the oak tree as the national tree as part of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

Picture of an Oak tree

June 4 Trivia Question

Q: Who is the only police officer to have arrested a sitting U.S. President?

A: In 1872, William H. West, a Black police officer who had fought in the Civil War, stopped Ulysses S. Grant at the corner of 13th and M streets in Washington for speeding in a horse-drawn carriage. Grant paid a $20 fine, which he did not contest.

Image of old newspaper

May 28 Trivia Question

Q: Who was the first Black woman to serve as a federal district court judge?

A: Constance Baker Motley was nominated by Lyndon Johnson to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1966. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a civil rights litigator and the first black woman elected to the New York State Senate.

Picture of black woman flashing 'V for Victory' sign.


May 21 Trivia Question

Q: Which U.S. Supreme Court Justice was nicknamed "Whizzer"?

A: Byron "Whizzer" White earned his nickname as a college football player at the University of Colorado. He was offered a professional football contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.


May 14 Trivia Question

Q: Which U.S. President also served as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?

A: William Howard Taft was both the 27th President (1909-13) and the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-30). He is the only person to date to have held both offices. 



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