Search Help

Global Search

Use the global search bar at the top of each page to search the Constitution Annotated. You can use keywords, Boolean logic, and the operators listed below. Search operators must be entered in uppercase. Search terms are not case-sensitive. Typographical errors are automatically corrected. To avoid the auto-correction, use quotation marks around the search terms. You can search for all content with a blank search by simply clicking the search button without entering search terms.

Search Operators

Search operators must be entered in uppercase. Search terms are not case-sensitive.

Operator Explanation Example Results
space between word
(no operator)
any of these terms constitutional convention Find any essays with the word "constitutional" or the word "convention"
AND all of these terms senate AND house Find any essays with the words "senate" and "house"
OR any of these terms express OR implied Find any essays with either the word "express" or the word "implied"
NOT none of these terms house NOT home Find any essays that contain the word "house" and do not contain the word "home"
w/n within "n" number of words commerce w/2 clause Find any essays where the word "commerce" is within two words of the word "clause"
" " exact phrase "search and seizure" Find any essays with the exact phrase, including spaces, "search and seizure"
( ) group these terms (witness OR testimony) AND (plead OR fifth) Find any essays with the word "witness" or the word "testimony" and the word "plead" or the word "fifth"
* root expander congr* Find any essays with words that start with the unique root "congr" such as "congress," "congressional," and "congregation"

What is Searched

The Constitution Annotated website contains a variety of resources that supplement the analysis. From the global search bar, you can search the following:

  • Constitution Annotated
  • Constitution of the United States
  • Table of Cases
  • Table of Supreme Court Decisions Overruled by Subsequent Decisions
  • Table of Laws Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court
  • Table of Supreme Court Justices
  • Beyond the Constitution Annotated: Table of Additional Resources*
  • Methodologies for the Tables

*Note that only the table is searched. The linked content is not searched.

What is Not Searched

Irregular forms are not included in search results. For example, “goose” will not return results for “geese.” “Person” will not return results for “people.” Further, linked content is not searched or included in the search results.

Filters and Sorting

Use filters to narrow your search results. Select the checkboxes next to the criteria of your choice on the search results page to apply a filter. Click on the “x” to remove a filter and expand your search results.

Use the Sort By drop-down menu to change the way your search results are sorted. Choose between the default option, Sort By Relevance, and Sort by Order in Constitution.

Expanded and Condensed View

You can change the appearance of each item in your search results list by clicking on the View drop-down menu and choosing between Expanded and Condensed.

The Expanded view shows (1) the location of each Constitution Annotated essay (which Article or Amendment, which Section, Clause, etc.), (2) the title of the essay along with its unique serial number, (3) the first 200 characters surrounding the text relevant to your search term(s), (4) the first 200 characters surrounding the footnote text relevant to your search term(s), if applicable, and finally, (5) the number of hits per search term.

The Compact view shows (1) the location of each Constitution Annotated essay, (2) the title of the essay along with its unique serial number, and (3) the number of hits per search term, allowing you to see more results on your screen without scrolling.

Results per Page

You can change the number of search results displayed on a page by clicking on the down arrow next to the display of the number of items per page, and selecting a new option from 25, 50, or 100 per page. The default is 100 results per page.

Copy Search

Click the “Copy Search” button to copy the search URL, including your keywords, to your clipboard.

Questions?

If you have questions about the Constitution Annotated, please Ask a Librarian.