Constitution Day – The Annotated Constitution Celebrated

Constitution Day – The Annotated Constitution Celebrated by Margaret Wood.

From the post:

Thursday, September 17th is Constitution Day and on this date we commemorate the signing of the Constitution. This day also recognizes those who have become citizens of the United States by coming of age or by naturalization. The Law Library frequently celebrates this auspicious day with a lecture or scholarly debate. Over the years we have written about different aspects of the Constitution, its history and various Constitutional amendments. This year I thought it would be helpful to highlight one of our most important resources in answering questions about the Constitution and its history. What is this invaluable resource? It is The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation.

This publication, which celebrated its centennial in 2013, is available both in print and online. At the direction of the Librarian of Congress, this publication is prepared by staff from the Congressional Research Service and, since at least 1964, it has been published as a Senate document. Many of the staff here at the Law Library have an older edition of the print publication in our offices, and there are always two or three current editions available in the Law Library Reading Room.

Despite my antipathy for some government departments and activities, I have a weakness for the Library of Congress in general and the Congressional Research Service in particular.

The 1972 edition of the The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation was my first exposure to the first of many Congressional Research Service publications.

You won’t have to spend long with a current edition to discover that “interpreting” the Constitution isn’t as nearly straight forward and unambiguous as many claim.

The 2014 edition runs 2814 pages long. A bit unwieldy in print so I will be reading my next copy on an e-reader.

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