FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORYPart 1            Margaret Clark, Reference Librarian                    FSU Law Research Cente...
Federal Legislative History - 1 What is legislative history? Why compile a legislative history? Documents that make up ...
What is legislative history?A collection of related documentsproduced by Congress during theenactment, or rejection, of a ...
Why compile legislative history? To clarify questions about a statute if there  are no cases interpreting it. To underst...
Legislative History Documents   Bills   106 H.R. 275    110 S. 30    Many versions: engrossed enrolled   Committee heari...
Not all legislative documents are created equal!1.   Statute text2.   Conference report’s joint explanatory statement3.   ...
HearingsReportsDebates           Popular Name              U.S.Code Citation
VICTIMS of TRAFFICKING and VIOLENCEPROTECTION ACT OF 2000 STEP 1:     Identify public law number STEP 2:     Identify bi...
Step 1: Identify public law numberVICTIMS of TRAFFICKING and VIOLENCE    PROTECTION ACT OF 2000   Use Popular Name table ...
STEP 1:   Identify public law number                              Victims of Trafficking and                           Vio...
USCA-POP             Trafficking Victims           Protection Act of 2000
STEP 1:   Identify public law number                                 22 USC § 7102
STEP 2:   Identify bill number                                 Pub.L. 106-386
Step 3: Check for compiled history  HeinOnline  Westlaw Arnold and Porter Collection  Lexis Legislative Histories  USC...
Hein Online   http://www.law.fsu.edu/library   “Find It Quickly”
HeinOnlineSources of Compiled Legislation
Hein Online
Hein Online
HeinOnlineSources of Compiled Legislation
HeinOnlineU.S. Federal Legislative History Title Collection
USCCANU.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News   Two sections     Laws  - Public laws in chronological order    ...
Questions?
Civil Rights Act of 1957   Step 1 : Identify public law number. Where?     Popular Name Table (Internet – Cornell’s Popu...
Thank you!Coming up on Thursday…FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY – part 2       Lexis’ CIS Legislative History database       W...
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
Federal Legislative History, Pt 1
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  • A complete legislative history contains all the documents produced by the leg process. You won’t always need all the documents. Sometimes you can make your argument with just a committee report.
  • If there is ambiguity in the text of the statute, the legal researcher will first look to cases for judicial interpretation. If none is found, then look at legislative history. Although there are judges that find leg hist persuasive, in recent years, more and more are not. Why was the statute enacted? And, how did Congress want the statute to be interpreted? Some judges believe, like Scalia, the only legislative guide to interpreting statute should be the text itself.
  • Briefly mention the documents in order of their appearance in the course of a bill becoming law and what they are.
  • In determining legislative intent, the greatest weight is given to the plain meaning of the statute.
  • The bill number will appear on the first page of the public law. You will see either see either S. # or H.R.#.
  • Public laws are published in the Statutes At Large (official publication) Public laws are also published in an unofficial publication - USCCAN
  • Federal Legislative History, Pt 1

    1. 1. FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORYPart 1 Margaret Clark, Reference Librarian FSU Law Research Center Fall 2008
    2. 2. Federal Legislative History - 1 What is legislative history? Why compile a legislative history? Documents that make up leg history What tools can I use to search for a compiled legislative history?  HeinOnline  Westlaw  LexisNexis  USCCAN (U.S. Code and Congressional
    3. 3. What is legislative history?A collection of related documentsproduced by Congress during theenactment, or rejection, of a proposedpublic law.
    4. 4. Why compile legislative history? To clarify questions about a statute if there are no cases interpreting it. To understand the meaning of specific language or terminology To determine legislative intent at the time statute was enacted
    5. 5. Legislative History Documents Bills 106 H.R. 275 110 S. 30 Many versions: engrossed enrolled Committee hearings Hearing on H.R. 5388 before the Comm. on the Judiciary, 109th Cong. 51-76 (2006) Committee reports H.Rpt.106-55 Committee prints H.R. Doc No.43 (Title) Committee documents H. Doc. 105-22 Floor debates 132 Cong. Rec. 32408; CR H2675 Conference report H. R. Conf. Rep. 105-37 Slip law/session law Pub. L. 106-386
    6. 6. Not all legislative documents are created equal!1. Statute text2. Conference report’s joint explanatory statement3. Committee reports4. Remarks, debates5. Bill text in various versions6. Witness statements in committee hearings7. Prints, reports, signing statements, news articles Excerpted from Richard McKinney’s Federal Legislative History Research, http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/docs/fed-leg-hist.pdf, last updated May 2006
    7. 7. HearingsReportsDebates Popular Name U.S.Code Citation
    8. 8. VICTIMS of TRAFFICKING and VIOLENCEPROTECTION ACT OF 2000 STEP 1: Identify public law number STEP 2: Identify bill number STEP 3: Check for compiled legislative history STEP 4: Find legislative history documents STEP 5: Read and analyze documents
    9. 9. Step 1: Identify public law numberVICTIMS of TRAFFICKING and VIOLENCE PROTECTION ACT OF 2000 Use Popular Name table from any of these sources:  Cornell Popular Name Table web site (free)  USCA / USCS Popular Name Table22 USC § 7102 Use history notes at the end of the USC section
    10. 10. STEP 1: Identify public law number Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
    11. 11. USCA-POP Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000
    12. 12. STEP 1: Identify public law number 22 USC § 7102
    13. 13. STEP 2: Identify bill number Pub.L. 106-386
    14. 14. Step 3: Check for compiled history  HeinOnline  Westlaw Arnold and Porter Collection  Lexis Legislative Histories  USCCAN – U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News
    15. 15. Hein Online http://www.law.fsu.edu/library “Find It Quickly”
    16. 16. HeinOnlineSources of Compiled Legislation
    17. 17. Hein Online
    18. 18. Hein Online
    19. 19. HeinOnlineSources of Compiled Legislation
    20. 20. HeinOnlineU.S. Federal Legislative History Title Collection
    21. 21. USCCANU.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News Two sections  Laws - Public laws in chronological order  Legislative History  List of legislative history documents  Reprints selected documents, e.g. committee reports  Helpful tables offer checklist Print begins with 1941 Westlaw begins with 1973
    22. 22. Questions?
    23. 23. Civil Rights Act of 1957 Step 1 : Identify public law number. Where?  Popular Name Table (Internet – Cornell’s Popular Name Table)  Answer is: P.L. 85-315 Step 2: Identify its bill number. Skip for the moment Step 3: Check for Compiled Sources. Where?  HeinOnline - Bill number?  Answer is: 85 H.R. 6127  What source points to actual documents?  Answer is: Book called “Civil Rights,” edited by B. Schwartz, 1970
    24. 24. Thank you!Coming up on Thursday…FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE HISTORY – part 2 Lexis’ CIS Legislative History database Westlaw’s Graphical Statutes Thomas GPO Access

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