Constitutional Law and Constitutional History

This page provides links to some of the top electronic resources in U.S. constitutional law and constitutional history, but is by no means exhaustive. In some instances, print resources available in the Pritzker Legal Research Center may be more suitable than those listed here. Northwestern University School of Law students are especially encouraged to visit or call our Reference Desk (312-503-8450) for help with constitutional law or constitutional history research questions.

Note to our non-Law School visitors: Resources contained within Lexis and Westlaw require special passwords to use.

Federal

Primary Materials and Early History

Declaration of Independence

Articles of Confederation

U.S. Constitution

Text of the Entire Constitution

Text of the Bill of Rights

  • Bill of Rights. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute.
  • Bill of Rights. From The Founders' Constitution. Includes the text of Amendments 1 to 10, along with background documents.
  • Bill of Rights. From the National Archives and Records Administration.

Philadelphia Convention of 1787

  • Annapolis Convention. From The Founders' Constitution. The proceedings of the 1786 convention which called for the Philadelphia Convention.
  • The American Constitution: A Documentary Record. From Yale's Avalon Project. Scroll down to "The Constitutional Convention." Includes: (1) variant texts of plans submitted to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention by Edmund Randolph, William Patterson, and Alexander Hamilton; (2) the convention notes of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Rufus King.
  • The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (Farrand's Records). From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project. The "single best source for discussions of the Constitutional Convention."

Post-Convention Debate and Ratification

Documents Which Influenced the Constitution Writers

  • The American Constitution: A Documentary Record. From Yale's Avalon Project. Provides the texts of major documents which influenced the writers of the U.S. Constitution, from the Magna Carta to the English Bill of Rights to the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania.
  • Excerpts From Locke's Second Treatise. From the Founders' Constitution. While the excerpts are not compiled into one neat document, this set of search results helps get at the content of his writings.
  • Excerpts From Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws. From The Founders' Constitution. While the excerpts are not compiled into one neat document, this set of search results helps get at the content of his writings.

Federal Constitutional Case Law

U.S. Supreme Court

Opinions

  • Lexis: U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyers' Edition - Selected Constitutional Law Material Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (USLED). Search for cases dating back to 1790.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Cases. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SCT). Search for opinions in cases decided since 1945.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Cases - before 1945. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SCT-OLD). Search for opinions in cases decided before 1945.
  • LexisONE. A free site for searching for opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court (1790 to present), U.S. Circuit Courts (1997 to present), and numerous state appellate courts (1997 to present). Searches are free, but you are required to register in order to use the service.
  • Supreme Court Opinions (FindLaw). A free site for searching or browsing U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1893.
  • Federal First Amendment - Supreme Court Cases. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (FCFA-SCT). Search for opinions in First Amendment cases decided since 1790.
  • Recent Decisions. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute. A free site providing opinions from cases decided since May, 1990.
  • Historic Decisions. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute. Presents the texts of some important opinions in 20th Century cases.

Transcripts and Arguments

  • Lexis: United States Supreme Court Transcripts Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (USTRAN). Search for transcripts dating back to 1979.
  • Transcripts of U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SCT-ORALARG). Search for transcripts of cases argued before the Supreme Court starting with the 1990-91 term.
  • Oyez Project (Northwestern University). Provides recordings of the Court's proceedings in leading constitutional law cases. The Court began to record its public sessions in October 1955. Digitized recordings of oral arguments and opinion announcements from sources in the National Archives.

U.S. Courts of Appeals

  • Lexis: US Courts of Appeals Constitutional Law Cases Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (USAPP).
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals Cases, Reported. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CTAR). Search for cases that have been decided, 1945-
  • Federal First Amendment - Courts of Appeals Cases. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (FCFA-CTA). Search for opinions in First Amendment cases decided since 1891.
  • LexisONE. A free site for searching for opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court (1790 to present), U.S. Circuit Courts (1997 to present), and numerous state appellate courts (1997 to present). Searches are free, but you are required to register in order to use the service.
  • Recent Decisions. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute. A free site providing opinions from cases decided since May, 1990.

Constitutional Law Journals

  • American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law. Search for articles in all issues through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (AMUJGSPL); search for articles in vol. 3 (1995)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (AUJGSL); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Berkeley Women's Law Journal. Search for articles from vol. 9 (1994)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BERKWLJ); search for articles from vol. 13 (1998)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BRKWOM).
  • Buffalo Women's Law Journal. Search for articles from vol. 8 (1999)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BWLJ); search for articles from vol. 8 (1999)- through Westlaw (CBFWJLSP) Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community.
  • Cardozo Women's Law Journal. Search for articles from vol. 2 (1995)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CDZWLJ); search for articles from vol. 3 (1996)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CWLAWJ); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Chicano-Latino Law Review. Search for articles from vol. 13 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CHLLR); search for articles from vol. 17 (fall 1995)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CHILAT).
  • Circles: The Buffalo Women's Journal of Law and Social Policy. Search for articles from vol. 1 (1992)-vol.7 (1998) through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (BWLJ); search for articles from vol. 4 (1996)-vol 7 (1998) through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CBFWJLSP).
  • Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Search for articles from vol. 25 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CLMHRLR); search for articles from vol. 26, no. 3 (spring 1995)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (COLHRT).
  • Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. Search for articles from vol. 3, no. 2 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CLMJGL); search for articles from vol. 7, no. 2 (1998)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (COLJGL).
  • Constitutional Commentary Available via HeinOnline (except most current vol.) Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community; search for articles from vol. 10, no. 2 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CONSTCOM); search for articles from vol. 12 (1995)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CONCOM).
  • Constitutional Political Economy Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community Vol. 8 (1997)- available
  • Constitutional Review (1917-1929) Available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Crisis (NAACP). Search for articles from Oct. 1997- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (CRISIS).
  • Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy Vol. 4 (1997)- available; search for articles from all issues through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (DUKEJGLP); search for articles from all issues through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (DUKEJG); also available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • East European Constitutional Review Vol. 6, no. 2/3 (spring/summer 1997)- available (some issues in PDF).
  • Federal Lawyer. Search for articles from vol. 30 (1983)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (FEDRLAW).
  • George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal. Search for articles from vol. 4 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (GMUCRLJ).
  • Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Search for articles from vol. 16 (1981)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HVCRCLLR); search for articles from vol. 29 (1993)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HRVCIV); Vol. 1 (1966)-current also available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Harvard Human Rights Journal/Yearbook. Search for articles from vol. 6 (1993)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HRVHRJ); search for articles from vol. 7 (1994)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HVHRJ). vol. 1 (1988) - current available through HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. Search for articles from vol. 20, no. 3 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HSTCLQ); search for articles from vol. 25 (spring 1998)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (HCLQ); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • New York Law School Journal of Human Rights. Search for articles from vol. 11 (1993)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (NYJHR); search for articles from vol. 11 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (NYLSJHR); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal. Search for articles from vol. 2, no. 2 (1992)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SHCLJ); search for articles in vol. 5, no. 3 (summer 1995)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SHCLJ).
  • Social Justice. Search for articles from Mar. 1995- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (SOJU).
  • Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review. Search for articles from vol. 2 (fall 1992)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (TPCRLR); search for articles from vol. 2, no. 2 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (TMPPCRLR).
  • Texas Forum on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. Search for articles from vol. 2 (1994/95)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (TFCLCR); search for articles from vol. 2 (1996)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (TXFCLCR); also available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law All vols. available; search for articles from all vols. through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (UPACJL); search for articles from all vols. through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (UPAJCL); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal. Search for articles from vol. 2 (winter 1993)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WMBRJ); search for articles from vol. 2, no. 2 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WMMBRJ); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law. Search for articles from all issues through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WMJWL); search for articles from all issues through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WMMJWL) all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • Women's Rights Law Reporter. Search for articles from vol. 15 (1993)- through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WRLR); search for articles from vol. 16, no. 2 (winter 1994)- through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (WRLRPT); all vols. except most current available via HeinOnline Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community.
  • If you don't see the journal title you're looking for here, try our Law and Law-Related Journals on the Web page.
  • LegalTrac Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community. An index of articles in approximately 800 legal journals.
  • Index to Legal Periodicals and Books Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community. Indexes articles from over 800 legal journals (beginning in 1981), and from major law books published since 1993. "Legal Periodicals Retro" component allows for searching for articles dating back to 1918, and can be searched by itself or simultaneously with the Index to Legal Periodicals & Books covering 1981 to present.
  • Lexis: Law Reviews Combined Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (ALLREV). Search for articles in more than 500 law journals and law reviews (1982 to present) simultaneously.
  • Westlaw: Journals and Law Reviews Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (JLR). Search for articles in almost 700 law journals and law reviews simultaneously.
  • Current Index to Legal Periodicals Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community. A current awareness service of articles in over 500 legal journals. Most recent 5 issues available.
  • Use NUcat to see whether the Pritzker Legal Research Center or another Northwestern University library owns a print copy of the journal you are seeking.

Organizations

Governmental

Non-Governmental

Illinois

Primary Materials and History

Illinois Constitutional Case Law

  • Illinois Cases are available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (IL-CS). Search for Illinois Supreme Court cases (1819- ), Appellate Court cases (1877- ), and Court of Claims cases (1889- ).
  • IL Constitutional Law Cases Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community are available through Lexis (CONLAW). Includes Illinois Supreme Court cases dating back to 1885, and Illinois Court of Appeals cases dating back to 1944.
  • Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions. Search for opinions from the Illinois Supreme Court dating back to May 1996, and from the Appellate Court of Illinois dating back to September 1996.

Organizations

Other States

Primary Materials and History

  • Listing by Jurisdiction. From Cornell's Legal Information Institute. Provides links to the constitutions of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • FindLaw: State Constitutions. Another free site providing links to the constitutions of each of the 50 states.
  • U.S. States and Territories. From the Law Library of Congress. A free site providing links to constitutions, statutes, cases, regulations, and other information from each of the 50 states.
  • Current Constitutions from individual states are available through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community.
  • Current State Constitutions are available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community Annotated Statutes databases (XX-ST-ANN) (where XX stands for the two-letter state abbreviation).

Constitutional Case Law

  • Cases from individual states, or from all states combined, may be searched through Lexis Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community.
  • Cases from individual states are available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (XX-CS) (where XX stands for the two-letter code for a particular state).
  • State Case Law. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (ALLSTATES). Search for cases decided 1945 onward from all 50 states simultaneously.
  • State Case Law Before 1945. Available through Westlaw Available from anywhere to members of the NU School of Law community (ALLSTATES-OLD). Search for cases decided 1821-1945 from all 50 states simultaneously.
  • LexisONE. A free site for searching for opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court (1790 to present), U.S. Circuit Courts (1997 to present), and numerous state appellate courts (1997 to present). Searches are free, but you are required to register in order to use the service.

Other Materials

  • Oxford Constitutions of the World Available from anywhere to all members of the Northwestern University community. The full text of 190 countries' constitutions in English translation. "Each document provides the user with an authoritative translation of the most current version of each country's constitution as well as many of the amending documents, decrees, and proclamations."
  • FindLaw: Constitutional Law
  • Hieros Gamos: Guide to Constitutional Law. Gateway to laws, journals, mailing lists, government agencies, and other information on both U.S. and foreign constitutional law.
  • JURIST: Constitutional Law. Gateway to web-based information on U.S. constitutional law.
  • "Law About" Constitutional Law (Cornell's Legal Information Institute). Find links to federal, state, international, and other materials in constitutional law.
  • Supreme Court Database. Hosted at Washington University, with principal investigators Harold Spaeth, Lee Epstein, Ted Ruger, Keith Whittington, Jeffrey Segal, and Andrew D. Martin. "[T]he definitive source for researchers, students, journalists, and citizens interested in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1953 and 2008 terms. Examples include the identity of the court whose decision the Supreme Court reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices."
  • NUcat. To search for books and other materials in the Northwestern University libraries.
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