United States Statutes at Large

United States Statutes at Large

The United States Statutes at Large, commonly referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat., is the official source for the laws and resolutions passed by United States Congress.

The "Statutes at Large" are generically referred to as the "session laws" of the Congress. They are part of a three-part model for publication of Federal statutes consisting of (1) slip laws, (2) session laws, and (3) codification.

Publication began in 1845 by the private firm of Little, Brown and Company under authority granted by a joint resolution of Congress. In 1874, Congress transferred the authority to publish the Statutes at Large to the Government Printing Office, which has been responsible for producing the set since that time.

Every law, public and private, ever enacted by the Congress is published in the Statutes at Large in order of the date of its passage. Until 1948, all treaties and international agreements approved by the United States Senate were also published in the set (these now appear in a publication titled "United States Treaties and Other International Agreements", abbreviated U.S.T.). In addition, the "Statutes at Large" includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, and presidential proclamations.

Today, large portions of the Acts of Congress denominated as "public laws" are drafted as amendments to the United States Code. Once enacted into law, an Act will appear in the Statutes at Large and will either add to, modify, or delete some part of the United States Code. Provisions of the public laws that contain only enacting clauses, effective dates, and similar matters are not generally codified. Private laws also are not generally codified.

See also

* Revised Statutes of the United States
* Table of contents

External links

* [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsl.html Volumes 1 to 18 of the "Statutes at Large"] made available by the Library of Congress
* [http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plaws/browse.html Public and private laws from 104th Congress to present] from the Government Printing Office, in slip law format with Statutes at Large page references
* [http://homepages.uc.edu/~armstrty/statutes.html Early United States Statutes] includes Volumes 1 to 35 of the "Statutes at Large" in DjVu and PDF format, along with rudimentary OCR of the text.
* [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=105_cong_documents&docid=f:sd014.105 How Our Laws Are Made] , by the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives.
* [http://www.llsdc.org/statutes-code/ United States Statutes and the United States Code: Historical Outlines, Notes, Lists, Tables, and Sources]

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