General Question

cochja's avatar

Where Can one read the U.S. (and others like Canada's) Constitutions online?

Asked by cochja (34 points ) May 18th, 2010

Just want to know.

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17 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

You can find dozens of websites by doing a search. I use Goodsearch.com because they donate money to my favorite charity for every search I make.

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cochja's avatar

@La_chica_gomela Do you have an English language one…translated into modern english and The part about succession from the union…you know the one that gives permission to rise up against the country if it fails the people?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

The language of the US Constitution is considered modern English. If you don’t know what some of the words mean, I suggest you use a dictionary.

cochja's avatar

@La_chica_gomela my proff’s couldn’t even agree on what the word Democracy is… I don’t think any old dictonary will do

SamIAm's avatar

if you have an ipod touch, iphone, ipad, etc… there’s an app that breaks down the the US constitution into all of it’s parts.

cochja's avatar

@Samantha_Rae thanks… but all I have is this core-duo computer and a medium speed conection… can you send me the part about permission on rising up from the gov. if it gets corrupted?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@cochja: You make my point for me. Your professors may have different opinions about what the word “democracy” means to them, but there is no need to translate it into “modern” English, because “democracy” is still a word very much alive in our language today.

Additionally, you can stop asking people to send you specific parts of the US Constitution, because we’re not going to do your homework for you. It’s widely available on the internet. You can find the portion you need on your own.

cochja's avatar

@La_chica_gomela this isn’t homework and I’m not from the U.S.

Jeruba's avatar

The use of the precise language of the U.S. Constitution is essential. We do not render it in other wording. The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the Constitution and apply it to cases that come before the panel of nine judges for adjudication. Any change of wording, any reinterpretation, could have immense consequences in the law of the land. So we stick to the original language and leave it to the judiciary to do any interpreting.

This doesn’t mean that it can’t be discussed. It is discussed at great length and in great detail. But the language is unchanged except by amendment, and the Supreme Court (not just present but past, including the body of past case law) is the only authority on its meaning.

Jeruba's avatar

@cochja, I wonder if you are thinking of the Declaration of Independence, which was the document by which the original thirteen colonies in 1776 asserted their right to break free of Great Britain. It contains this language:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It goes on to list all the abuses committed by the King of England as justification for this separation.

There is nothing in either the Constitution (1787) or the Declaration (1776) explicitly about secession (not succession), meaning the right to secede (withdraw) from the Union. That was the issue of the Civil War; the southern states attempting to secede were defeated and kept within the Union.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba good information – the OP is no longer with us.

arpinum's avatar

I havent’ seen anyone post a link yet, so here is a transcript and pictures of an original version from the us archives.

cfrydj's avatar

All of Canada’s legislation, including our constitutional documents (the main ones are 1867 and 1982), is easily available at www.canlii.org.

talljasperman's avatar

you can’t the constitution is a living document It would fill a stadium

HungryGuy's avatar

The congressional record and the whole all body of law would fill a stadium. The constitutions, themselves, are fairly compact and can fit in a pocket guidebook.

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