Amend uses the constitutional topics identified by the Comparative Constitutions Project, along with a number of topics devised specifically for proposed U.S. constitutional amendments. The CCP tags are brief identifiers–e.g., “equal” means “general guarantee of equality,” or, more specifically, “Guarantees that all individuals are entitled to the same privileges and immunities. Prohibits favoritism or discrimination to any group. All are considered to be equal before the law.” Each record in the Amend dataset is tagged with at least one of these topics. A full list of the topics used in the Amend project can be found here. There are about two hundred topics used in our dataset. When searching by topic, you can search by a specific topic tag but in many instances a search for keywords anywhere in the record will yield similar results.
See Topics Glossary
Numbered Congressional bills:
Searches for particular Congressional bills take the following format: [Congress] H.J.R. / S.J.R. [Bill Number]. For example, the correct search string to find the bill proposing the Eighteenth Amendment – Senate Joint Resolution 17, approved during the 65th Congress – would be 65 S.J.R. 17.
This pattern holds true for bills that were not officially labeled as Joint Resolutions, as was often the case in the early years after each chamber began numbering their bills. For example, although the bill for the Fifteenth Amendment, approved during the 40th Congress, was contemporaneously referred to as “S.8,” “S. Res. 8,” or “S.R.8,” the correct search string to identify it in our database would be 40 S.J.R. 8.
Full text search
Amend allows some websearch operators for advanced full text searches:
OR, which is converted to the
+, which is converted to the
-, which is converted to the
- Quotes (e.g.
"equality") for exact phrase matching