United States Statutes and the United States Code: Historical Outlines, Notes, Lists, Tables, and Sources
A Federal Statutory Research Guide
Part of LLSDC's Legislative Source BookThe U.S. Statutes at Large is a chronological arrangement of all laws enacted by Congress. The U.S. Code is an updated, subject arrangement of all general and permanent U.S. law so enacted.
Historical Outlines, Explanatory Notes, Lists
How to Find U.S. Statutes and U.S. Code Citations [PDF] (Fourth Rev. Ed, 1980; Office of the Federal Register)
Detailed Guide to the United States Code Content and Features (Office of the Law Revision Counsel)
Unraveling the Mysteries of the U.S. Code - a Q&A by Rick McKinney [PDF]
United States Statutes: Historical Outline and Source Notes by Rick McKinney [PDF]
United States Code Classification Tables (updates Code by year in public law and code order, including current year)
United States Code: Table V - Proclamations of the President (Proclamation No. to location in U.S.C. notes - See also PDF downloads)
United States Code: Table VI - Reorganization Plans (Reorg. Plan No. to location in U.S.C. notes - See also PDF downloads)
Acts Cited by Popular Name - Tool (PDF) (citations to where that popular name title is found in the U.S. Code which is usually at the beginning of a U.S.C. section (or section note) where most of the rest of the text of the Act can be found)
Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules (PDF) (Text) (U.S.C. cites to C.F.R. cites - U.S.C. sections, U.S. Statute pages & public laws cited as authority in various CFR citations - Office of the Federal Register via GPO.gov)
Table of Congressional Publication Volumes and Presidential Issuances (Current to 1789 - shows Statute at Large volumes & Congresses when U.S.C. titles enacted)
BloombergLaw (subscription service) - Has current U.S. Code as well as 2006 & 2000 editions; U.S. Public Laws/Statutes from 1976; many amended laws from 1933; search capability; and popular name table.
Cornell's Legal Information Institute - U.S. Code and Popular Name Table - Has effective date in January within 1 to 2 years of current date (or less). Can search, browse, cite and link to individual sections. Also has a popular name table that links to many U.S. Code cites with section breakdowns.
Fastcase.com - U.S. Code (subscription service) - Has current U.S. Code - searchable and browseable.
Findlaw - U.S. Code and Popular Name Table - The effective date is shown on the top right of each page which is in January within 1 to 3 years of current date. Can search, browse, cite and link to individual sections. Also has a popular name table. Beware that the notes area of a USC section may be incomplete.
GPO FDsys - U.S. Code and Public and Private Laws (U.S. Government Printing Office) - 1994 to near current. Can search, browse, and link to individual sections. Also has a searchable and browseable Public and Private Laws database that includes PDF files from 1995 of all U.S. statutes. Also has U.S. Statutes at Large (with indices) both as annual compilation PDFs (very large files) and by individual statute from 1951 to 2011.
HeinOnline - U.S. Statutes and Large / Historical Editions of the U.S. Code. A subscription service - has digitized the U.S. Statutes At Large (not word searchable) and all the historical editions the U.S. Code.
Justia.com - U.S. Code, a free service, has a digital U.S. Code, not really current.
Law Revision Counsel, Office of the - U.S. Code (official compilers and publishers of the U.S. Code in the U.S. House of Representatives - The Code is searchable and downloadable in various formats (ASCII, PDF, XHTML, ZIP) and the most current version is effective (usually in January) within 6 months to 2 years depending on the title. The Counsel has a Popular Name Tool, Statute to Code Table, and Other Tables, and tools.
LexisNexis (subscription) - U.S. Code Service and U.S. Statutes at Large. See also subscription
Library of Congress - U.S. Statutes at Large and Public Laws via THOMAS service - Covers the years 1789-1873; browseable but not directly searchable; part of Library's American Memory Project. Though THOMAS service on Congress has the text of public laws back to 1989 (enrolled bill version) and information about laws back to 1973.
LoisLaw.com - U.S. Code (subscription service) Has current U.S. Code - searchable and browseable.
The Law.net - U.S. Code (subscription service) - Has current U.S. Code - searchable and browseable.
VersusLaw.com - U.S. Code (subscription service)- Has current U.S. Code - searchable and browseable.
Westlaw (subscription) - Has U.S. Code Annotated and U.S. Statutes at Large. See also
Compiled and maintained by Rick McKinney, Assistant Law Librarian, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.
Please email your questions or comments to the Legislative SIS.
Last revised September 19, 2014.