App of the Week – The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

This wewethepeopleek’s app is not flashy or life-changing, but it serves as an example of excellent educational content waiting to be discovered in the app store. History and law majors will certainly want to take note of this resource, but regardless of major or area of interest, you’ll feel like a well-informed citizen after downloading this app.

The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation app is the mobile version of the legal treatise popularly known as the “Constitution Annotated,” or officially, Senate Document No. 112-9. The comprehensive treatise is a clause-by-clause analysis of the Constitution written by legal experts from the Congressional Research Service under the direction of the U.S. Senate. First published in 1913, the Constitution Annotated has been published as a bound volume every 10 years, with constitutional law updates every 2 years. With the launch of this app by the Library of Congress and GPO in 2013, not only has this valuable content become extremely accessible, portable, and searchable, but it enables updates of new case analysis multiple times a year.

ConstitutionTableofContents

Most Helpful Features:

  • In-depth keyword search function on the main menu that searches within the entirety of the document; you also have the ability to search within individual documents and sections within documents.
  • If the keyword search isn’t immediately helpful, there is an excellent index, table of contents, and table of all cases cited in the document.
  • The app allows you to export any documents to PDF and read within an e-reader app of your choice (e.g. Kindle, iBooks); the documents can also be emailed, AirDropped, or opened in Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.
  • The app is self-contained, and with the exception of exporting documents to email or other apps, does not require internet access to use.
  • In addition to the main treatise, the app includes bonus content, such as the Constitution and Amendments in PDF form without any annotations; all Supreme Court cases related to interpretation of the Constitution; and “all federal, state, and local laws struck down by the Supreme Court,” including “all cases where the Court overturned its prior precedent.”

ConstitutionSearch

Downsides:

None that I can find—the app is simple to use, organized, and does exactly what it promises.

Bottom Line:

Whether you’re a student of history or law, or just interested in learning more about the law of the land, getting up close and personal with the Constitution is only a download away.

Further Reading:

There’s an App for This: The Constitution – Direct Access to Expert Analysis of the Supreme Law of the Land

Constitution Annotated (web version)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian