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Federal Statutes

This guide aims to provide the user with a general understanding in locating and updating known statutes and in identifying federal statutes by citation, name, or subject.

Finding Uncodified, Private and Superseded Laws

Only laws which are general and permanent in nature are codified. Occasionally, legislation is passed but is left uncodified. Congress also passes private laws in the same manner as it does public laws. Private laws do not affect everyone; rather, they benefit an individual or individuals and often deal with claims against the government or issues of immigration or naturalization. In addition, current editions of the Code do not reprint older, superseded laws. Locating uncodified, private or superseded laws requires you to go to one of the following sources:

1. Statutes at Large is a permanent record of the laws passed during each Congress. The laws are published chronologically and the set includes all public and private laws passed since 1789. Uncodified laws, private laws and superseded laws can be located in Statutes at Large if the year of the legislation is known. Each volume includes a subject index and tables for help in locating desired legislation.

2. USCCAN is a commercial publication which includes a record of all laws passed since 1939 in chronological order. It also includes Executive Orders and Proclamations and can be used to locate both uncodified and superseded legislation. USCCAN provides popular name and subject indexes and tables for help in locating legislation. It is also a place to begin legislative history since some legislative committee reports are reproduced and references to others are included.

3. Superseded Codes: UCLA Law Library keeps the older versions of both the official and the commercial Codes but only retains the superseded bound volumes and their final pocket parts. These versions can be useful in finding the text of superseded Code sections along with their annotations. They can be located in print on Level A by call number (see above for titles). Westlaw and Lexis also contain Code archive databases:

4. USCS Uncodified is a separately bound volume of USCS which contains annotations to uncodified legislation but does not reproduce the text of the legislation.
5. United States Revised Statutes is the official codification of the federal laws which were in effect in 1873. Found in Volume 18 of Statutes at Large (see #1 above), the Revised Statutes provides a subject arrangement for historical Code research.