List of United States federal legislation

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This is a chronological, but still incomplete, list of United States federal legislation. Congress has enacted approximately 200–600 statutes during each of its 112 biennial terms, so that more than 20,000 statutes have been enacted since 1789.

At the federal level in the United States, legislation (i.e., "statutes" or "statutory law") consists exclusively of Acts passed by the Congress of the United States and its predecessor, the Continental Congress, that were either signed into law by the President or passed by Congress after a presidential veto.

Legislation is not the only source of regulations with the force of law. However, most executive branch and Judicial Branch[citation needed] regulations must originate in a congressional grant of power. See also: Executive orders of the President; regulations of Executive branch departments and administrative agencies; and the procedural rules of the federal courts.

Contents

Publication of the law[edit]

Statutes at Large (Stat.)[edit]

Acts of Congress are published in the United States Statutes at Large. Volumes 1 through 18, which have all the statutes passed from 1789 to 1875, are available on-line at the Library of Congress, here. In the list below, statutes are listed by X Stat. Y, where X is the volume of the Statutes at Large and Y is the page number, as well as either the chapter or Public Law number. See examples below.

Sessions (Sess.) and Chapters (ch.)[edit]

Each Congress has two to four sessions. Under the numbering system used from 1789 until 1957, the Acts in each session are numbered sequentially as Chapters. This numbering included both laws applicable to the general public and laws relating to specific individuals, e.g., to grant pensions to disabled veterans.[1]

Public laws[edit]

Since 1957, Acts of Congress related to the general public have been designated in the form: Public Law X-Y where X is the number of the ordinal Congress and Y is the number of the chronological order of the public Act in that Congress. This numbering is continuous across sessions of Congress and does not include acts relating to individuals, which are analogously given Private Law X-Y designations. (From 1901 to 1957, the Statutes at Large listed both a chapter and a Public/Private number for each act[2]) See examples below.

Examples[edit]

Congress of the Confederation[edit]

1789 to 1901: 1st through 56th Congresses[edit]

1901 to 2001: 57th through 106th Congresses[edit]

2001 to present: 107th and subsequent Congresses[edit]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See, e.g., Act of Aug. 11, 1790, ch. 44, 6 Stat. 3
  2. ^ About Bills, Resolutions, and Laws