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General Legal Research: Constitutions

Information on basic primary and secondary legal sources.

U.S. Constitution as the Ultimate Primary Source

The U.S. Constitution is the most authoritative primary source.  All statutes, regulations, court opinions, etc. must be in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.   

Image of US Constitution

Locating the U.S. Constitution

The text of the U.S. Constitution is reprinted in the United States Code (U.S.C.).  For more info on the U.S.C., see the Statutes page.

Click here for FREE electronic access.

State Constitutions

Each state has its own state constitution.  You can usually find a state's constitution within its statutory code (generally reproduced immediately before the initial title).

Cornell's Legal Information Institute has links to state constitutions.

In Pennsylvania, a copy of the State Constitution can be found right before Title 1 of the Consolidated Statutes.  It is, of course, available on Westlaw or Lexis, as well as for FREE from the PA General Assembly website.