The following is a guest post by Rob Sukol, Deputy Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives. Rob previously did the guest post titled “The United States Code Online – Downloadable XML Files and More” on In Custodia Legis.
As introduced in my previous post, since 1926, the United States Code has been the official codification of Federal statutory law. The United States Code contains the general and permanent laws of the United States, organized into titles based on subject matter. The printed and online versions of the United States Code are prepared by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, which is an independent, nonpolitical office in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Quick Links to Statutes at Large
The Office of the Law Revision Counsel has recently made more enhancements to the United States Code online. Users can now jump to pinpoint page citations in the Statutes at Large. The response time is fast: Just click on the citation and the image of the page in the Statutes at Large pops open. Once the viewer is open, easy navigation tools allow users to jump to other volumes/pages. Our new expanded coverage includes every page of the Statutes at Large, from volume 1, page 1 (Declaration of Independence) to the most recent slip laws published by GPO.
Just click on the citation link ….
…. and the image of the page in the Statutes at Large pops open
Easy Navigation Tools
Once the viewer is open, easy navigation tools allow the user to jump to another volume/page or to turn to the prior or next page.
Viewer Also Works as a Stand-Alone Tool
Users can go directly and enter any volume and page of the Statutes at Large.
Special Function for Revised Statutes of 1878
To view a particular section of the Revised Statutes of 1878, users can enter the volume as “rs” and the section as “s” plus the desired section number. For example, entering volume “rs” and section “s201″ pulls up the page for section 201 of the Revised Statutes of 1878.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
This describes new functionality being provided by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, but the real story is how the public benefits when government offices are able to share and use each other’s data effectively. The Law Library of Congress and the Government Publishing Office produce files of entire volumes of the Statutes at Large (and recent slip laws), and they make their files publicly available. The Office of the Law Revision Counsel programmatically splits those files to create the images of individual pages. As a result of everyone’s efforts, legal researchers working in the United States Code online now have access to super-quick links to the Statutes at Large.