U.S. Constitution




United States Constitution

  • Article VI:  Supreme Law of the Land
  • Research usually in cases:  judicial interpretation and judicial review
  • Text:  U.S. Code, USCA, USCS, GPO FDSys, Black's Law Dictionary, OCGA, online sources

Annotated Constitutions

Constitution of the United States of America:  Analysis and Interpretation

  • Annotations of cases decided by the Supreme Court
  • Prepared by the Congressional Research Service
  • Most recent: Serial Set 14866, Sen. Docs. 108-17 (2002edition),  108-19 (2004 supplement), 110-17 (2008 supp.), 111-39 (2010 supp.)
  • Print Docs-Ref

CRS Annotated Constitution Online

  • FDSys:  Senate Document
    • Download pdf volumes, browse articles and amendments.    Pocket part supplements separate.
    • 1992 and 2002 editions with 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010  cumulative supplements available
    • To search:  use advanced search, select "additional government publications,"  find the Constitution set in the Publications field, then add search terms in additional full-text search field boxes
    • Or, search in the individual pdf volumes
  • Justia
      • 2002 edition with the 2004 supplement integrated.  Links to cited cases in the annotations.

    Court Interpretations


    • Use the USCA and USCS on Westlaw and Lexis
    • Keycite (Westlaw) and Shepards (Lexis)
    • USCA and USCS supplements and advance sheets
    • New amendments:  hearings, Congressional Record, Federal Register
    • Statutes at Large includes Constitutional Amendments
    • Find proposed Constitutional Amendments as Congressional Joint Resolutions in Thomas, Congress.gov, and other bill tracking sources

    Secondary Sources

    • Encyclopedia of the American Constitution KF4548 .E53
    • Treatises:
      • Treatise on Constitutional Law (Nowak & Rotunda):  Westlaw and KF4550 .R63, also Constitutional Law Hornbook (Reserves)
      • Modern Constitutional Law (Antieau/Rich):  KF4550 .R47 and Westlaw
      • Smolla and Nimmer on Freedom of Speech:  Westlaw and KF4772 .N54
      • LaFave Search and Seizure:  Westlaw and KF9630 .L26
      • Hall Search and Seizure:  Lexis and KF99630 .H36
      • Constitutional Rights of the Accused (Cook):  Westlaw
      • Constitutional Law treatises on Westlaw
      • Constitutional Law treatises on Lexis
    • Casebooks and Hornbooks:
      • American Constitutional Law (Tribe):  KF4550 .T785
      • American Constitutional Law (Shanor):  KF4549 .S395
      • Nowak & Rotunda Constitutional Law (West Hornbook): KF 4550 .N6 2010
      • Nowak & Rotunda Principles of Constitutional Law (West Concise Hornbook): Reserves
      • Chemerinsky Constitutional Law: Principles & Policies (Aspen Student Treatise): Reserves
      • Black's Handbook of American Constitutional Law on Westlaw
    • Law Reviews
    • Library of Congress Guide
      • Links to articles and resources on interpretation of the Constitution
    • Newsletters:  US Law Week, including Supreme Court Today
    • Websites and Blawgs:

    Drafting and Ratification

    • Constitutional background and original intent
    • Drafted 1787, ratified 1787-1790
    • Federalist Papers
    • Farrand's Records of the Convention
    • Elliot's Debates (state conventions)
    • Annals of Congress volume 1
    • Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention broadsides
    • Sources:
        • Example of use of historical constitutional materials:  DC v Heller 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed. 2d 637 (2008):  Citations to Federalist Papers and Antifederalist materials, debates from the Constitutional Convention, colonial and early state statutes and constitutions, historical treatises, English Reports and statutes
      • American Memory Collection (Library of Congress)
      • Library of Congress:  Primary Documents in American History
      • Westlaw Legislative History 1776 database
      • University of Oklahoma historical documents
      • Yale Avalon Project
      • The Constitutional Sources Project:  Constitutional source documents:  searchable, or find background documents by topic or constitutional article, amendment, or clause
      • Hein Online Legal Classics (Electronic Resources)
      • The Founder's Constitution KF4502 .F68 1987
        • Online version to search, use indexes of authors and Constitutional provisions, or use the Table of Contents.  Includes excerpts of founding documents, letters, and debates related to provisions and clauses of the Constitution
      • EUCLID:  Subject Constitutional History

      Unratified Amendments

      • Six amendments
      • FDSys:  Constitution:  Analysis and Interpretation, includes proposed amendments not ratified by the states

      State Constitutions

      Daily Show clip:  John Hodgman on the US Constitution

      TI:GER Program video

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