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Answered By: Suzanne Schriefer, Education & General Education Librarian Last Updated: Feb 01, 2017 Views: 17832
When citing legal resources, APA defers to the popular legal citation style outlined in the The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed., 2017).
The United States Constitution, the foundational document of our democracy, does not need to be cited in the text of a paper if mentioned generally. For example:
The U. S. Constitution describes the responsibilities of the three branches of government.
If you are citing a specific part or article of the U.S. Constitution, you must cite it in the text of the paper using an in-text parenthetical reference using the abbreviations used in "Bluebook Style." For example:
In 1920, Suffragettes succeeding in winning the right for women to vote (U. S. Const. amend. XIX).
The companion References list citation would be:
U. S. Const. amend. XIX.
If citing an article, use the following example as a pattern:
(U. S. Const. art. IV, § 3).
References list citation:
U. S. Const. art. IV, § 3.
For more information, consult this article in the APA Style Blog. It provides examples and explanations for citing a variety of resources in APA style. They published an article on citing the U.S. Constitution:
Lee, C. (2010, June 3). How to cite the U.S. Constitution in APA style [Blog post]. Retrieved from APA Style website
Click on this link to view the entire blog post that discusses how to cite the U.S. Constitution in the APA Style.