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Statutes and Constitutions Research: Constitutions

This guide provides information on U.S. statutes and constitutions and identifies pertinent print and online resources available through the NYU Law Library.

United States Constitution

The United States Constitution sets forth the structure of the U.S. system of government, allocating power and responsibility among the three branches of government, and describes its fundamental principles. 

The Constitution is divided into seven articles:

  •    Article I establishes the legislative branch of the government and addresses its powers and responsibilities
  •    Article II establishes the executive branch of the government and addresses the powers and responsibilities of the President
  •    Article III establishes a federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court
  •    Article IV defines the relationship between the states
  •    Article V addresses the procedure for amending the Constitution
  •    Article VI establishes the Constitution as the "supreme Law of the Land"
  •    Article VII ratifies the Constitution

In addition, there have been 27 amendments to the Constitution, most notably the first ten which constitute the "Bill of Rights."  The Bill of Rights address certain fundamental rights of individuals.

State Constitutions

Generally current state constitutions are published at the front of the state's current statutory code.  The state constitutions are often modeled after the federal Constitution, and address the structure and responsibilities of the branches of the state government.