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Researching Federal Statutes

I recently wrote about the War Powers Resolution research guide available from the Law Library of Congress, which I highlighted because it had been getting a lot of page views. We try to analyze web metrics to see which Law Library web pages are the most viewed, as Andrew and I have mentioned in previous posts. Another page that has been getting a lot of attention recently is our Guide to Federal Statutes.

The Guide to Federal Statutes page was mentioned in my post on the How Do I Find…? page, a useful tool on the Law Library’s website. Andrew also mentioned the page in his post on Top Law Library of Congress Web Pages. The Guide to Federal Statues is also a nice follow-up to my I’m Just a Bill post.

Statutes are laws (or acts) enacted by legislatures. Federal statutes may be published in two formats: public and private laws or codified law. Public and private laws are published in the format that is signed by the two chambers of the United States Congress and the President, such as the United States Statutes at Large. Codified law is published in a subject-arranged format, such as the United States Code. Codes are commonly called current law because a code section consists of the original law that created the code section and subsequent amendments integrated together. Both the United States Statutes at Large and United States Code are available in print and electronically. Statutes may be found by using the citation, the popular name, or by subject.

The research guide on Federal Statutes is divided into Sources of Statutes, Subject Arrangement, and Locating Statutes. If you would like to find out more about Federal Statutes or how to locate them, we hope the guide can help. There are also other finding aids available.

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