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9/17/2003

Happy Constitution Day

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:04 pm

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216 years ago today, the constitution of the United States was signed with "Unanimous Consent"* from the thirteen states. In the years since, many have used the other writings of those governmental framers to interpret the constitution. To make that task easier, the University of Chicago Press offers The Framer’s Constitution, an exhaustively annotated document that includes not just references to those other writings, but the complete texts as well. The print version is 3200 pages and costs a pretty penny, but thanks to the Liberty Fund, you can access it on-line for free.

If you’re visiting Philadelphia, you can make a trip to the National Constitution Center and museum. Their web site is almost as good, and it contains resources of special interest to teachers. The National Archives on-line exhibit includes hi-res images of the original document — great for those into handwriting analysis. The Government Printing Office has a site that contains a constitution annotated with Supreme Court decisions over the years, including a list of acts of congress that were deemed unconstitutional. Finally, usconstitution.net offers no-nonsense plain-text pages containing the constitution, related documents, biographies of the framers, and other goodies.

* Sure, the constitution claims it had "Unanimous Consent", but there were quite a few no-shows and hold-outs that didn’t sign when it came time.

[Listening to: Nesbitt’s Lime Soda Song - Negativland - Escape from Noise ]