This is a guest post by Mitch Ruhl, a paralegal specialist in the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service.
One of the challenges for any researcher tackling questions of constitutional interpretation is knowing where to start. The Congressional Research Service’s (CRS) Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (or “Constitution Annotated”) serves as the official legal treatise on the constitution, offering a comprehensive, authoritative, and nonpartisan analysis of the most important document in American history. This year marks the publication of the latest decennial edition and the fourth anniversary of the Constitution Annotated website. As part of this anniversary, CRS has produced a new research guide dedicated to helping the general reader navigate and understand the Constitution Annotated, whether they are congressional staffers, seasoned attorneys, university students, or anyone interested in the Constitution and how it relates to current issues.
This research guide walks the reader through the Constitution Annotated website; the methodology behind its component essays; additional resources created by CRS, including a comprehensive table of cases cited in all essays, a table of overruled Supreme Court decisions, sets of introductory essays, and a topical guide for each section of the Constitution and its amendments. The Constitution Annotated research guide will be regularly updated as new essays and resources are added and edited.
Researchers of all backgrounds can use this research guide to delve into this unique and important treatise and further their understanding of how America’s founding document relates to current Supreme Court cases and discussions surrounding constitutional issues.
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