Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

Last updated on 11-22-2017

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, 1992 to Present

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About The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, popularly known as the Constitution Annotated, encompasses the U.S. Constitution and analysis and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution with in-text annotations of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.

The U.S. Constitution comprises the primary law of the U.S. Federal Government. It describes the three chief branches of the Federal Government and their jurisdictions, and lays out the basic rights of citizens of the United States. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest Federal constitution in existence and was framed by a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states in Philadelphia in May 1787, Rhode Island failing to send a delegate. The U.S. Constitution is the landmark legal document of the United States.

The Constitution Annotated volume has been published as a bound edition every ten years, with cumulative updates issued in the intervening years biannually as inserts that address new constitutional case law, primarily from U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The analysis is provided by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress.

What is Available?

  • govinfo provides access to Constitution Annotated editions and supplements from 1992 forward.
  • All Constitution Annotated files are available on govinfo in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Older files are available in ASCII text format.
  • In 2013, new resources were introduced to coincide with the release of the 100th anniversary edition of the Constitution Annotated. This includes a frequently revised “digital update” version on govinfo. Beginning with the 2012 centennial edition of the Constitution Annotated, interim digital updates are made available in PDF several times a year on an irregular basis. The first update includes analysis for the 2012 edition up to June 26, 2013. All new resources beginning with the 2012 edition have GPO’s Seal of Authenticity on every page.

The 2012 centennial edition on govinfo, and updates starting with the 2013 digital update, offer a linked feature within the full PDF file’s table of contents, table of cases, and index. Simply click on the page numbers next to the section headings, case names, or subject terms, and immediately arrive at associated pages within the text. Page link hyperlinks are also available within the table of contents for amendment PDF files.


Related Resources

  • The Library of Congress uses the PDF files produced by GPO to power a Constitution Annotated mobile app. The app can be downloaded for free from iTunes. An Android version is under development.
  • More information about the Constitution Annotated including direct links to the mobile app.