Litmus test

From Academic Kids

The term litmus test can be literal or metaphorical. In common use, it refers to any test in which a single factor is decisive.

Template:PH indicator template The literal meaning comes from chemistry. Litmus is a water-soluble dye extracted from certain lichens and absorbed on to filter paper. The resulting piece of paper become a pH indicator (one of the oldest), used to test materials for acidity. Blue litmus paper turns red under acidic conditions and red litmus paper turns blue under basic conditions, the colour change occurring over the pH range 4.5-8.3 (at 25C).

Politics

Applied to politics, it is a question asked of a potential candidate for high office, the answer to which would determine whether the nominating official would choose to proceed with the appointment or nomination. In this context, the phrase comes up most often with respect to U.S. presidential nominations to the judiciary.

During presidential election campaigns, the possible existence of litmus tests are more heatedly discussed when vacancies for the U.S. Supreme Court appear likely. Advocates for various social ideas or policies often wrangle heatedly over what litmus test if any the president ought to apply when nominating a new candidate for Supreme Court justices. Support of a woman's right to an abortion is one example of political litmus test; another might be support of strict constructionism.bg:Лакмус de:Lackmustest pl:Lakmus sl:Lakmusov papir sv:lackmuspapper

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