Political Science

Guides

  •  How a Bill Becomes a Law - For detailed information, click on the part of the graphic that you need.
  • Congress A to Z, 3rd ed. (JK1067 .C67 1993 O'Leary Reference 1st floor) - Explains congressional processes in plain English.
  • How our laws are made. (KF4945.Z9 J64 2003 O'Leary Reference 1st floor) - This is another excellent introduction to congressional processes.

Federal Law Sources

  • LexisNexis Academic - Choose "Legal Research" for full text access to U.S. and State codes of law; Supreme Court, Federal, State, and some lower court opinions; law review articles; and government news.
  • THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet - makes available a wide range of federal legislative information starting in 1989 (101st Congress). For legislative histories use the Legislation, Congressional Record and Committee Information databases. Most databases within Thomas cover 1989 -.
    • The Legislation database includes a "Public Laws by Law Number" section providing summary and status records for bills which became law since 1973 (93rd Congress). The "Bill Text" section provides the full text of all versions of bills (including those which were not enacted) considered since 1989. This section also provides links to Congressional Record pages.
    • The Congressional Record database (1989 to date) contains the "Congressional Record Text" section and the "Congressional Record Index" section. It is searchable by word/phrase, member name, date, or date range.
    • The Congressional Record Index is available from 1994 (103rd Congress, 2d Session). It is searchable by index terms (topics) and bill numbers or browsable by index terms arranged in alphabetical ranges.
      The Committee Information database contains a "Committee Reports" section which provides full text of most House and Senate committee reports (including conference reports) issued since 1995 (104th Congress)and is searchable by word/phrase, report number, bill number, and committee.
  • Legislative Branch Resources - GPO ACCESS provides access to a number of full text document databases for legislative history research: Congressional Bills (1993 to date); Congressional Documents ( 1995 to date);Congressional Record (1994 to date);Congressional Record Index (1983 to date); Congressional Reports (1995 to date); History of Bills and Resolutions (1983 to date); Public Laws (1995 to date). Each database is searchable by phrase (using " ") or by use of the Boolean operators adj, and, or. Although Committee Prints and Committee Hearings databases are available at this site they are limited in coverage.
  • U.S. Code- Popular name list
  • U.S. Code - By Title i.e. section

State Laws