I'm researching federal statutes. Where do I start?

Statutes, also known as acts, are laws passed by a legislature. Federal statutes are the laws passed by Congress, usually with the approval of the President. Federal statutes are published in three formats:

  1. Initial publication as a slip law;
  2. Arranged by law number in the United States Statutes at Large; and
  3. Codification in the United States Code or its predecessors.

The Law Library of Congress has published an online research guide on resources for finding and researching federal statutes. Researchers can visit Federal Statutes: A Beginner’s Guide to start their research.


Last Updated: Nov 18, 2020
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