Federal Statutes and Legislation
Statutes relating to appellate advocacy exist at both the federal and state levels. Some useful electronic sources of statutory and legislative materials are linked below. For more information on federal legislative research, including federal legislative history, see Chapter 5 and Chapter 10 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research. For more information on state legislative research, including Maryland legislative history, see Chapter 9 of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library Guide to Legal Research.
Lexis and Westlaw update their online code as new laws are passed with about a 2-month delay while Congress is in session. Updating the statute with Shepard's or KeyCite on the section is a good idea--be sure to look for pending legislation affecting the section.
- United States Code Annotated (USCA), by Thomson/West, is available on Westlaw.
- United States Code Service (USCS) by LexisNexis, is available on Lexis.
- The US Code is also Bloomberg Law , and annotations are being added in increasing number. It is updated within a month of newly enacted legislation.
The U.S. Code is also available through Legal Information Institute, FindLaw and FDsys. Be aware that they are not current so be sure to note the date the code was last updated. Your state bar association may also provide access to the current US Code through Casemaker and Fastcase . To learn more about the print versions of the USC go to the Guide to Using the United States Code.
Session Laws and Legislation
- Public and Private Laws (FDSys) (1995- )
- United States Statutes at Large - Every public law and private law enacted by Congress is published here in chronological order. It includes the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, and presidential proclamations.
- United States Statutes at Large (FDSys) , v. 65 (1951)-3 years ago.
- United States Statutes at Large (American Memory project of the Library of Congress) v. 1-18 (1789-1875)
- Congress.gov is a beta website of federal legislation and congressional activity. It is in the process of incorporating the legislative information available on Congress.gov and Thomas.gov, the Library of Congress's congressional information system. Compare the scope of coverage on THOMAS to Congress.gov at Coverage Dates for Legislative Information.