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HeinOnline: Legislative Research

Information relating to the Legal Studies's database HeinOnline.

Overview of Legislative Research

HeinOnline is a comprehensive search tool for legislative research. The site includes access to valuable sources such as Code of Federal Regulations, The Federal Register Library, Pentagon Papers, U.S. Code, Attorney General Opinions, Legislative History Library, and the U.S. Statutes at Large

Citations to Public Laws

What is Legislative History?

Legislative history consists of documents with information considered by the legislature prior to enacting a law. It can help to understand why a law became a law or why it did not. Also many students will be interested in legislative history as a method for statutory interpretation. 

Where Else Can You Find Legislative History?

Of course you can always find numerous useful resources for researching legislative history in the Law Library! You may begin your research on the 1st Floor North where many print resources are located. Some of the print resources in the Library include US Code, USCAN, USCS, US Statutes At Large, The Federal Register, CFR, USCA, CIS, and LSA's. 

Points to Remember

Before beginning your legislative research, familiarize yourself with the process of the legislatvie histories and the different terminoligy and publications associated with that process. To do this, you may start with some LibGuides such as Researching Statutes which can be found on the Library's LibGuide Page along with numerous other resources.

Where to start?

When starting your legislative research, it is best to find a compiled legislative history which is a collection of documents that make up the legislative history of a given law. HeinOnline researchers should begin their U.S. federal legislative history research with Nancy Johnson's, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories, which often includes references to law review articles on-point to a particular legislative history. Johnson's as well as many other sources can be found from HeinOnline's Homepage. Simply click on "U.S. Federal Legislative History Library" or this link and you can browse laws by publication title, public law numbers or popular name.

Hein's Quick Reference Guide for the US Code

Follow the above link for a useful PDF from Hein's Help & Support Page that gives guidance on using Hein's US Code Library.

Finding Public Law Numbers in US Statutes at Large

Points to Remember

HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library is an excellent source for legislative research.  When searching the database it may be useful to begin with a popular name or a public law number. 

What info can you find in the Statutes At Large?

US Statutes At Large

Includes complete coverage of the Statutes at Large, and features multiple browsing and searching options to enhance the online value over the paper volumes. Library description obtained from:

U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

In addition to the inclusion of comprehensive federal legislative histories published by the U.S. GPO and private publishers, this library also includes a unique finding aid based on Nancy Johnson's award-winning work, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories. Researchers should begin their U.S. federal legislative history research with this finding aid, which often includes references to law review articles on-point to a particular legislative history. Library description obtained from:

How A Bill Becomes A Law