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US legislation

Page history last edited by sarah.kennedy@mishcon.com 3 years, 10 months ago Saved with comment

  For a discussion of sources of US legislation, see Ruth Bird's article in Legal Information Management, 2006, 6(3), 172-175 and later by Hester Swift in Legal Information Management, 2009, 9(4), 267-272. "No cost and low cost US legal research" by Alison Shea is also a good article to review (L.I.M, 2011, 11(4), 241-246) as well as its update in LIM 2016(1), 25-30.


Sources of Constitution

  • United States Code (GPO) - look under "Organic Laws" (new beta version puts it under "Front Matter" then "Organic Laws")
  • United States Code Annotated on Westlaw International
  • United States Code Service via Lexis Library - US


US Code

  • Cornell Legal Information Institute (most user friendly, equivalent to BAILII)
  • US House of Representatives (a beta version maintained by OLRC - Office of the Law Revision Counsel)
  • Federal Digital System (PDF versions of the Code, via GPO, aka FDSys, has the official USC in the form of digitally signed and authenticated pdfs. However, it still has a disclaimer saying legal researchers should check it against the printed version.)


Public laws

  • Federal Digital System (1995/6 onwards)
  • Congress.gov - replacing THOMAS.gov. Official website for US federal legislative information - access to legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies and the public. Updated usually the morning after a session adjourns. You may also be interested in this blog post on new features added to the website.
  • Thomas (Library of Congress) (1989 onwards, in the form of the final printing of the bill) - being retired sometime after the end of 2015 but no official date set.


Private laws


US State legislation links 

Kate Follen, President of Monroe Information Services, has undertaken a blogging challenge - to create links to legislation for all 50 states in 50 weeks!  Week by week, she posts links to sources of state legislative information on Monroe Infoblog. She is tackling the states in alphabetical order - last week was Week 5: California.

Each post also includes "Fast Facts" about the state’s legislative process and links to regulatory information and to the websites of state newspapers. You can receive updates on her progress by following her on Twitter @katefollen or by subscribing to a feed from her blog.


Links to state legislation are also available from the Cornell Legal Information Institute  


US Presidential Executive Orders: When trying to locate US Presidential Executive Orders try the following links:  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/executive_orders.php?year=2017 and http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/executive_orders.php

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