Search Help

Search Help

Use the global search bar at the top of each page to search the Constitution Annotated. You can use keywords, Boolean logic, and the search operators listed below.

Search operators must be CAPITALIZED in order to be activated, otherwise they will be treated like non-Boolean search terms (compare senate AND legislation, which searches for essays that contain both the words senate and legislation, with senate and legislation, which searches for essays that contain the word "senate" or contain the word "and" or contain the word "legislation").

Searches are not case-sensitive (e.g., justice and Justice will yield the same results). Typographical errors are automatically corrected. To skip the auto-correction, use quotation marks around your search terms (e.g., preenforcement will be auto-corrected to reinforcement, but "preenforcement" will not). To see all Constitution Annotated content, run a null search simply by clicking the search button without entering search terms.

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

Search Operators

Search operators must be CAPITALIZED. Searches are not case-sensitive.

Operator Explanation Example Results
No operator any of these terms constitutional convention Find essays that contain the word constitutional or the word convention
AND all of these terms senate AND house Find essays that contain both the words senate and house
OR any of these terms express OR implied Find essays that contain either the word express or the word implied
NOT none of these terms house NOT home Find essays that contain the word house and do not contain the word home
" " exact phrase "search and seizure" Find essays that contain the exact phrase, including spaces and punctuation, "search and seizure"
( ) group these terms (witness OR testimony) AND (plead OR fifth) Find essays that contain the word witness or the word testimony and contain the word plead or the word fifth
* root expander congr* Find essays that contain words starting with the root congr such as "congress," "congressional," and "congregation"

Search Features

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 (such as case law or CRS reports that open as PDFs or external webpages) is not searched or included in the search results.

Filters

Use filters to narrow your search results. On the search results page, under "Refine your results," click the checkboxes to apply a filter. Click on the “x” to remove a filter and expand your search results.

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.

Sorting

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 result on your search results page by clicking on the "View" drop-down menu and choosing "Expanded" or "Condensed."

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 excerpt surrounding the text relevant to your search term(s), (4) the excerpt surrounding the footnote text relevant to your search term(s), if applicable, and finally, (5) the number of hits per search term.

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.

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 Law Librarian.