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Law: QuickStart Guide

This guide is intended to serve as a starting point for finding legal information and is intended for public library users and librarians.

Founding Documents


Full texts of bills are not available on for bills prior to 1993 (103rd Congress).

Current Activity in Congress

House Floor now plus video feed; Senate Floor now plus video feed; Passed Congress, sent to President; Yesterday in Congress; Congressional Record, Latest Daily Digest; Congressional Floor Schedules and Legislative Calendars; weekly top ten bills.  Hover over any of these topics in blue with your mouse and click to find out the latest Congressional news.


H.R.1 - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Click, then scroll down beneath the listing and look for the tabs in a row for text, actions, amendments and more.


Named after Thomas Jefferson, THOMAS is the Library of Congress database to search for House and Senate bills, resolutions, legislation, browse by bill sponsor, find roll call votes, sign up for the Congressional Record's Daily Digest and more.  See also blue box below with links to Current Activity in Congress.

Passed 12/09/2015 Visa Waiver Program, H.R. 158.  See Current Activity Box below.

U.S. Code

Search and download by citation, or use the Popular Name Table.  The Classification Table shows recently enacted laws and sections of the Code which have been amended by those laws.

Landmark Cases

Federal Cases

US Supreme Court

This is Justia’s US Supreme Court Center. Review recent decisions and news, listen to oral arguments, or browse through our free collection of United States Supreme Court full-text opinions from 1791 to the present. Early editions of US Reports also include opinions by the courts of Pennsylvania from as early as 1754.

Federal Courts

Decisions may be found through a court system's website. Find the right court, click on cases, find the right judge, or use a search bar.  Example: Tummino v. Hamburg is uploaded onto The United States District Court -  Eastern District of New York website.

Here is help with how to read a citation

Below you will find a link for United States Supreme Court Recent Decisions. 


Get help with your Citizenship Application. 

Civil Liberties & Privacy

Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928)


Justice Department


DACA Letter

Jeffrey B. Session III

[September 5, 2017]

Petition the White House

Browse for a petition, start a petition, take action and build support to get enough signatures.

Federal Regulations (CFR)

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

  • Titles 1-16 are updated as of January 1st
  • Titles 17-27 are updated as of April 1st
  • Titles 28-41 are updated as of July 1st
  • Titles 42-50 are updated as of October 1st

The Federal Register is published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.  NEWS!  DIGITIZATION PROJECT TO BE FINISHED IN 2016.  Approximately 14,587 individual issues, which go back to 1936, will be digitized.

United States House of Representatives & United States Senate

Coat of arms or logo

The general public, students, teachers, new Senators and Senate staffers will learn about the United States Senate from these websites.

RSS Feed to Congress

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GPO (Government Printing Office)

FDsys Banner

Related Books

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Advisory Posts and Departments

The Vice President, Attorney General, Secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security.

U.S. Presidents - Executive Orders

American History Primary Documents


  Regulations are the how-to for executing legislation passed.  Look to government agencies which develop the regulations for details you need to know.

Fuel Economy - the official government source for fuel economy information

Related Books about Agencies

United States Department of Defense

Click on the seal for news, issues, branches of the military.  Sign up for RSS feed, read a blog.

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal