Constitution day September 17th

Celebrate Constitution Day by spending some time with the document that grants US citizens their rights and privileges. An annotated online version is available from Congress.gov that aims to increase understanding of the Constitution and how it affects our society.

Constitution Annotated allows users to browse through all the Articles and Amendments, providing links to Supreme Court decisions based on each. Users can also perform topic searches and find all the passages in the Articles and Amendments and the Supreme Court cases dealing with that topic. For example, I searched “religion” in the topic search bar at the top of the page, and a list is generated of all passages in the Constitution and in Supreme Court decisions that include the term.

Notice that all the State and federal laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court have been tabulated for easy cross-reference.

On the same site are links to digitized primary source documents from the Constitutional Convention. View George Washington’s copy of the constitution draft annotated in his own handwriting! Read a broadside “Ode” celebrating the Constitution. Peruse pamphlets published in state and national newspapers arguing for and against the national Constitution and its ratification process. There is a very helpful “Historical Note” on the formation of the constitution, that places all of these documents in context.

With all these resources, we can surely go forth and “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

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