Guide to Constitution Day
This guide points to resources available in commemoration of Constitution Day, September 17th.
Legislative History of Constitution Day
According to 36 U.S.C. 106, "September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787.
In 1952, a joint resolution (66 Stat. 9) was passed which designated September 17 as Citizenship Day. Then in 1956, another joint resolution (70 Stat. 932) established September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week. Public Law 105-225 revised and codified laws related to "Patriotic and National Observances" as Title 36 of the United States Code in 1998.
Finally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 108-447 (very large file)) added "Constitution Day" to the law and mandated " the civil and educational authorities of States, counties, cities, and towns are urged to make plans for the proper observance of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside."
The Federal Register announcement of the Constitution Day mandate was published in 2005.
Georgetown University Law Library has an extensive collection of books on the Constitution, its history and interpretation.
To locate books on the history of the Constitution, begin by doing a subject search using the phrase:
United States -- Constitutional history
To locate Constitutional Law casebooks, use the subject search:
Constitutional Law United States Cases
Here are just a few resources to start your research on the Constitution:
American Constitutional Law, by Laurence H. Tribe KF4549 .T7
Legal treatise providing analysis of constitutional law and policy. Provides references to treatises, law review articles, the U.S. Code, and Supreme Court cases. Coverage includes: separation and division of powers; federal judicial, executive and legislative power; congressional authority and the implications of state sovereignty; union-preserving aspects of federalism.
The Constitution of the United States of America : Analysis and Interpretation: 2002 edition and supplements (2004, 2006, 2008 & 2010): analysis of cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to July 1, 2002 / prepared by the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress ; Johnny H. Killian, George A. Costello, Kenneth R. Thomas, editors.
Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, ed. by Leonard W. Levy and Kenneth Karst KF4548 .E53
This six volume set is available both in print and online and provides an encyclopedic look at all aspects of the Constitution, including a chronology of the birth of the Constitution and important events in the development of American Constitutional Law. A glossary and case index are included.
Modern Constitutional Law, by Chester James Antieau KF4550 .A75
Legal treatise providing analysis of modern constitutional law. Issues covered include religion; the first amendment; privacy; private property, freedom of enterprise; freedom of contract; equal protection; civil and criminal justice; states and the federal government; federalism; separation of powers; and constitutional litigation.
Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure, by Ronald D. Rotunda and John Nowak
Legal treatise providing up-to-date analysis of every area of federal constitutional law. Focus is primarily on the Supreme Court. Coverage includes: origins of judicial review; sources of national authority; federal fiscal powers; procedural due process; and equal protection.
The U.S. Constitution A to Z, by Robert L. Maddex KF4548 .M33
Congressional Quarterly publishes this overview of the Constitution which provides simple explanations of the Constitution's history, brief biographies of members of the Constitutional Convention and relevant case law.
"Constitution Day Lecture: Constitutional Law and Tort Law: Injury, Race, Gender and Equal Protection", by Jennifer B. Wriggins, 63 Me. Law. Rev. 263 (2010) K13 .A4
"Is Constitution Day Constitutional?", by Nelson Lund, 9 Green Bag 2d 247 (2006)K7 .R325
"What Should We Celebrate on Constitution Day?", by Alan E. Garfield, 41 Ga. L. Rev. 453 (2007) K7 .E56Web Sites
The Topic Starter Resouces link to numerous websites on such topics as search and seizure, separation of powers and advice and consent.
Includes a blog covering everything from the Bill of Rights to judicial nominations. Their "Constitution in the Classroom" section focuses on Constitution Day resources.
Test your Constitution IQ on this website with fascinating facts, dates to remember and the text of our Constitution in 11 other languages, including Arabic and Chinese.
"The Constitution Project seeks consensus solutions to difficult legal and constitutional issues through constructive dialogue across ideological and partisan lines, and through scholarship, activism, and public education efforts."
This online version of a book originally published in 1986 by the University of Chicago Press allows for keyword searching and provides indexes to Cases and Constitutional Provisions.
The National Constitution Center presents this interactice site, which allows users to search by keyword, browse by keyword topics and search the text of the Constitution by Supreme Court cases.
Justice Learning, by the Annenberg Classroom
The Constitution Guide investigates the meaning of each article of the Constitution in a "What it Says and What it Means" format. An extensive interactive timeline of the ratification process is included.
Link to articles on Constitutional Interpretation, Executive Privilege, Military Tribunals, National Secutiry and other consitutional issues in this Library of Congress guide. Additionally, the personal papers of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington are part of the Library of Congress's extensive Primary Documents in American History collection and provide a unique insight into the formation of the nation and the Constitution.
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance. This site compiles numerous interactive quizzes and various other resources on the Constitution.
As the repository of the original Constitution, the National Archives maintains an extensive website of Constitution trivia, facts and an in-depth look at the Constitutional Convention and the ratification process.
Updated 8/13 (MK)
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