Skip to main content

United States Constitutional Law: Online Subscription Databases

This guide is intended to assist the user with basic constitutional law research, as well as to provide the researcher with further resources to consult. The most important sources are outlined including primary sources, treatises, hornbooks and more.

General Constitutional Law databases

There are many extremely useful databases for researching constitutional law available by subscription at the Gould Law Library. To find these databases you can go to the Gould Law Library index page and choose the online databases. (Hein Online, Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis can also be accessed directly from the index page)

BNA's Supreme Court Today (from U.S. Law Week) tracks every Supreme Court petition and case on the docket and can be searched by keyword or browsed in many different ways including by: case name; docket number; date; status and topic.

Hein Online's law journal library contains a vast assortment of law reviews and law journals, including out-of-print materials. Hein Online also has a US Supreme Court Library which contains the Constitution, Rules of the Supreme Court, U.S. Reports, U.S. Reports Preliminary Prints, U.S. Reports Slip Opinions as well as books and periodicals about the Supreme Court.

Making of Modern Law has a full text collection of treatises on American Law from 1800-1929, including the Federalist papers and the Articles of Confederation. It is fully searchable and browsable. This database is ideal for a person conducting historical constitutional law research.

Westlaw

To find constitutional law sources on Westlaw, go to the directory and choose constitutional law under “Topical Practice Areas.”


1. Under U.S. Constitution, Statutes & Legislation find:
The United States Code Annotated (USCA).


2. Under Treatises find:
Treatise on Constitutional Law: Substance and Procedure (CONLAW) which is a database of the full text of Rotunda & Nowack’s six volume treatise.


3. Under Law Reviews & Journals find:
Jurisprudence & Constitutional Theory – Law Reviews, Texts & Bar Journals (JCT-TP) which contains law reviews, American Jurisprudence 2d, CLE course materials, bar journals, and legal practice periodicals.


Civil Rights – Law Reviews, Texts and Bar Journals (CIV-TP) which contains law reviews, CLE course materials, bar journals and legal practice periodicals that focus on civil rights.


First Amendment – Law Reviews, Texts and Bar Journals (CFA-TP) which contains law reviews, American Jurisprudence 2d, CLE course materials, bar journals, and legal practice periodicals that focus on the First Amendment.


4. Under Newsletters find:
United States Supreme Court Actions (USSCAT) which contains bi-weekly updates of Supreme Court cases.


5. Under U.S. Supreme Court Databases find:
Transcripts of U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments (SCT-ORALARG); Preview of U.S. Supreme Court Cases (SCT-PREVIEW); U.S. Supreme Court Briefs (SCT-BRIEF); All U.S. Supreme Court Cases (SCT); U.S. Supreme Court Cases – before 1945 (SCT-OLD); as well as:


BNA U.S. Law Week – Supreme Court Today (BNA-USLWSCT) which includes transcripts, briefs, decisions, rules and orders from cases in the Supreme Court.


Westlaw Bulletin – U.S. Supreme Court (WLB-SCT) which contains summaries of recent Supreme Court cases.

Lexis-Nexis

To find constitutional law sources on Lexis-Nexis you may add a Constitutional Law Tab. To do this you would “Search” “by Source,” then under “Option 2: Look for a Source,” choose “Add/Edit Tabs,” then choose “Constitutional Law & Civil Rights” under “Jurisdictions and Areas of Law,” then select add.


1. Under Statutes, Regulations & Administrative Materials find:
The United States Code Service (USCS): the Constitution annotated.


2. If you follow the trail: Find Cases > View more sources > Federal you’ll find:
U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyers’ Edition – Selected Constitutional Law Material (USLED); U.S. Supreme Court Digest Lawyers’ Edition (USDGST); U.S. Supreme Court Transcripts (USTRAN); U.S. Supreme Court Briefs (Briefs); Federal Constitutional Cases (FEDCTS); United States Supreme Court Cases and Comments (USSCCC).


3. Under Search Analysis, Law Reviews & Journals find:
Constitutional Law – Law Reviews database (CONLLR) which contains a collection of law reviews specializing in constitutional law related articles.


4. Under Search News find:
The New York Times – Constitutional Law Stories (NYTCON).