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Constitution Annotated

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated) contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law. This regularly updated resource is especially useful when researching the constitutional implications of a specific issue or topic. The Featured Topics and Cases page highlights recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that demonstrate pivotal interpretations of the Constitution's provisions.

While this website is regularly updated by Congressional Research Service attorneys and tracks the latest constitutional law developments, currently because of technological difficulties we are unable to update the website to reflect changes from the 2017–2018 Supreme Court term.

The Constitution comprises the primary law of the United States. It describes the three chief branches of the Federal Government and their jurisdictions, and lays out the basic rights of the country's citizens. The world's longest surviving government charter, the Constitution was framed in May 1787 by a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states in Philadelphia.

The Constitution Annotated provides a clause-by-clause explanation of this landmark document, with references to nearly 8,000 Supreme Court cases. Constitutional law experts from the Congressional Research Service author the treatise and the Government Printing Office publishes the editions and supplements.

The 2012 Centennial Edition of the Constitution Annotated

The Government Printing Office (GPO) published the centennial edition of the treatise in 2012, along with a web version. Publications were formerly limited to hard-bound decennial editions and separate soft-cover biennial supplements, but the online resource allows for the publication of up-to-date PDF versions of the treatise. Both full-text searches and browsing by subject or case are available through the GPO govinfo website.

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

Includes analysis of Supreme Court cases decided through August 26, 2017

Articles, amendments, the index and tables from the Constitution Annotated are provided here as separate PDF files.

The complete Constitution Annotated PDF provides interactive links from the table of contents, index, and table of cases. The complete document is large (15160 KB PDF), and may take several minutes to download. Save the file, then open it in a PDF reader. All articles, amendments, and sections of the Constitution Annotated are available as separate PDF files.

Literal Prints - Constitution of the United States and Amendments to the Constitution

Historical Note on Formation of the Constitution Constitution of the United States

Article I Legislative Department
Article II Executive Department
Article III Judicial Department
Article IV States' Relations
Article V Mode of Amendment
Article VI Prior Debts, National Supremacy, and Oaths of Office
Article VII Ratification

Amendments to the Constitution

Bill of Rights First Through Tenth Amendments
1st Amendment Religion and Free Expression
2nd Amendment Bearing Arms
3rd Amendment Quartering Soldiers
4th Amendment Search and Seizure
5th Amendment Rights of Persons
6th Amendment Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions
7th Amendment Civil Trials
8th Amendment Further Guarantees in Criminal Cases
9th Amendment Unenumerated Rights
10th Amendment Reserved Powers
11th Amendment Suits Against States
12th Amendment Election of President
13th Amendment Slavery and Involuntary Servitude
14th Amendment Rights Guaranteed
15th Amendment Right of Citizens to Vote
16th Amendment Income Tax
17th Amendment Popular Election of Senators
18th Amendment Prohibition of Intoxicating Liquors
19th Amendment Women's Suffrage Rights
20th Amendment Terms of President, Vice President, Members of Congress: Presidential Vacancy
21st Amendment Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment
22nd Amendment Presidential Tenure
23rd Amendment Presidential Electors for the District of Columbia
24th Amendment Abolition of the Poll Tax Qualification in Federal Elections
25th Amendment Presidential Vacancy, Disability, and Inability
26th Amendment Reduction of Voting Age Qualification
27th Amendment Congressional Pay Limitation

The Index and Tables From the Constitution Annotated