Federal Law Links


General Federal Government

  • GovInfo (U.S. Government Publishing Office): site for official, authenticated copies of federal publications, generally from the mid-1990s to the present.
  • USA.Gov: Official government gateway for locating services and information for federal and state jurisdictions. Categories for citizens, business and governments as well as topical links and search feature.

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United States Code (U.S.C.)

  • Office of the Law Revision Counsel (U.S. House of Representatives): Searchable web version of the current U.S. Code. Complete Code chapters can easily be downloaded here in PDF and other formats.
  • GovInfo: The Government Publishing Office maintains federal government documents in digital format, and offers a variety of search, browse, and download options for current editions of the Code. Prior versions of the U.S.C. (1994 - ) are also linked from this site. This version of the Code includes a disclaimer that it may not be accurate and to always verify information using the official print version.
  • Legal Information Institute (Cornell Law School): Search by citation, by popular name, keyword and Boolean operators and several other methods. Cross-references are in hypertext. Once you find a code section, browse backward and forward in numerical order. Each section contains a link to check currency.
  • U.S. Code via Guide to Law Online (Law Library of Congress): Free public access to historical editions of the U.S. Code in PDF format, from a partnership between the Law Library of Congress and HeinOnline. The 1925 to 1988 editions and supplements are provided here.
  • U.S. Code Library, HeinOnline: Historical editions of the USC (back to 1925) in page-image format; also includes early federal statute compilations and related treatises. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.

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  • Congress.gov (Library of Congress): provides full-text bills from 1989 - present and summary/status reports back to 1973. Browse by topic, popular name, bill number or search by keyword and bill number.
  • GovInfo provides access to bills from the 103rd to the current Congress (1993 - present).
  • ProQuest Congressional: Includes library of full-text bill PDFs from the 1st Congress (1789) to the modern day. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.
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Legislative Information

  • Federal Legislative History Research Guide: Extensive research guide to conducting federal legislative history research with resources at Duke's Goodson Law Library.
  • Congress.gov (Library of Congress) - A good starting place for most information related to the United States Congress. Includes continuously updated floor actions, bills, votes, confirmations, reports and hearings.
  • CQ Weekly: The CQ Weekly is known as the pre-eminent resource for Congress-watchers who need nonpartisan information on Capitol Hill. The award-winning magazine's legislative news and analysis is consistently hailed for its accuracy and comprehensiveness. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.
  • Congressional Record (debates and floor proceedings)
    • Congress.gov (1995 - present): Search or browse individual congressional sessions.
    • GovInfo (1873 - present): Daily edition of congressional debates back to 1994. The Daily edition Index is available back to 1983. Bound (permanent) editions are available from 1873-2001/2005-2007.
    • HeinOnline (1873-present): PDF scans of the bound Congressional Record are available through HeinOnline's U.S. Congressional Documents Library. Prior versions of the Record (i.e., Congressional Globe, the Register of Debates, and the Annals of Congress) are also provided. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.
  • Committee Hearings & Reports
    • GovInfo (1985-88/1991 - present): Published hearings, documents, and reports in text and PDF formats. GPO also offers hearings related to U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominations, dating back to 1971.
    • HeinOnline, U.S. Congressional Serial Set Library (1817-present): full text PDFs of the Serial Set.
    • Law Library of Congress: offers selected hearings in PDF in the areas of immigration law, the U.S. Census, and freedom of information/privacy law. This site is a test area for a partnership between the Law Library of Congress and Google.
    • ProQuest Congressional (1817 - present): Digital collection provides hearings in PDF back to 1824, and committee reports from 1817-1989. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.
    • U.S. Congressional Serial Set Digital Collection (1817 - 1994): full-text of all the Reports, Documents and Journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Produced by READEX; available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.

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Federal Courts

Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of the United States: the official website includes Court calendars and schedules, background information about the Court and justices, Court rules, dockets, bar admissions information, case handling guides and general public information. Full text of current term opinions are featured with links to previous bench opinions. Most documents are provided in PDF.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Research Guide: Extensive guide to researching the Supreme Court at Duke's Goodson Law Library.
  • Supreme Court Opinions
    • FindLaw (1760 - present): Browse by volume or year; search by party, cite or keyword in full text.
    • Cornell LII (1990 - present): New opinions posted within hours of release. Search by keyword; browse by party, date or docket number.
    • U.S. Reports via Guide to Law Online (1754 - 2004): Volumes 1 through 542 of the official U.S. Reports, provided by a partnership between HeinOnline and the Law Library of Congress.
    • U.S. Supreme Court Library, HeinOnline: PDFs of the official U.S. Reports as well as related treatises and periodicals. Available to current Duke University students, faculty and staff.
Lower Federal Courts
  • Court Locator: The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts links to all available lower federal court websites.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: Includes rules, calendars, forms and general information about the court.
  • GovInfo: Offers a pilot program with court opinions from a select number of lower federal courts including appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts.
Court Information
  • U.S. Federal Courts: The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' clearinghouse of federal judicial information.
  • Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER): Fee-based service for access to court records and dockets. Nationwide party index with case information accessed at individual courts. Available to current Law School students, faculty and staff via Bloomberg Law. Members of the public may sign up for PACER access via the website with a credit card, which will not be charged unless a certain amount of charges are incurred per quarter.
  • Justia Dockets & Filings: Provides docket summaries and information for federal cases, 2004-present. Offers more flexible search capabilities than PACER, although access to actual court documents requires PACER username and password (see above).

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Federal Administrative Law

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Last updated 10/2018 jlb