Enhanced “Constitution Annotated” available from Cornell Legal Information Institute
On the occasion of Constitution Day, Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute today released an enhanced digital version of the “Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation,” often known more simply as the “Constitution Annotated” or “CONAN.”
Regularly prepared and updated by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress for over 100 years, the “Constitution Annotated” currently provides Congress and the public with analysis of thousands of Supreme Court cases interpreting the Constitution.
The contribution made by the Legal Information Institute – after a group of Cornell Computing and Information Science students developed software to convert the PDF into usable data – is to present this unwieldy 2,882-page document in a reader-friendly format that is clearly navigable.
Importantly, LII has interwoven the document with its many web pages for Supreme Court cases.
For example, the section on the First Amendment features 1,638 footnotes, many to Supreme Court decisions. LII has linked its case pages to these footnotes so that viewing source material for the “Constitution Annotated” requires only a click, not access to the U.S. Reports or other outside materials.
LII began in 1992 by mailing CD-ROMs containing statutes and case law to subscribers. Subsequent versions of its “Constitution Annotated” will further integrate its data with other online resources.