From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
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A few days after a law has been enacted, it is officially published first as a “slip law.” The first official publication of a bill that has been enacted and signed into law. Each is published separately in unbound single-sheet or pamphlet form. The heading indicates the public (Pub. L., or P.L.) or private law (Pvt.L.) number, the date of approval, and the bill number. The heading of a slip law for a public law also indicates the United States Statutes at Large citation.
Laws are published first as slip laws and then codified into the Statutes at Large and the United States Code.
The Office of the Federal Register (National Archives and Records Administration) prepares the slip laws and provides marginal editorial notes giving the citations to laws mentioned in the text and other explanatory details. The marginal notes also give the United States Code classifications, enabling the reader immediately to determine where the statute will appear in the Code. Each slip law also includes an informative guide to the legislative history of the law, including the committee report number, the name of the committee in each chamber of Congress, as well as the date of consideration and passage in each chamber, with a reference to the Congressional Record by volume, year, and date.
Statutory Research 1
Section 113 of title 1 of the United States Code provides that slip laws are competent evidence in all the federal and state courts, tribunals, and public offices.
See also Law; Official Title / Short Title / Popular Title / Popular Name; Statutes at Large; U.S. Code; § 4.110 Administrative Offices of the House, § 9.70 Laws and Their Codification, § 9.73 Excerpt from the U.S. Code, in Congressional Deskbook.
- Public Laws – Congress.gov
- Public and Private Laws – FDsys
- Statutes at Large – FDsys
- Statutes at Large, 1789-1875 – Library of Congress
- United States Statutes at Large, Digitized – GPO
- Congressional Record – Govinfo.gov
- Statutes at Large – Govinfo.gov
- U.S. Code – Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives
- U.S. Code – FDSys (GPO)
- U.S. Code – Legal Information Institute
- Table of Popular Names – Cornell Legal Information Institute
- “Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them,” CRS Report RL30812 (10-page PDF)
- “How Bills Amend Statutes,” CRS Report RS20617 (4-page PDF)
- The Congressional Review Act (CRA) (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- “The Congressional Review Act: Determining Which ‘Rules’ Must Be Submitted to Congress,” CRS Report R45248 (49-page PDF)
- “From Slip Law to United States Code: A Guide to Federal Statutes for Congressional Staff,” CRS Report R45190 (17-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom Training
- Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments in a Nutshell, Audio Course on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net
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