What is the United States Code?
The United States Code or Code of Laws of the United States of America is a compilation and subsequent codification of the general and permanent federal laws of the nation. The United States Code contains 50 titles and 4 proposed titles; the United States Code is published every six years by the Office of the Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives.
How is a Code Processed?
The United States Code affirms all acts of Congress and other government enactments. The official text of an Act of Congress is first presented to the President of the United States for his signature or disapproval. When enacted into a law, the original bill is delivered to the Office of the Federal Register, operating within the National Archives and Records Administration for authorization purposes.
Once authorization is affirmed from the Office of the Federal Register, copies are distributed in the form of “slip laws” by the Government Printing Office. Following this, the Archivist will assemble annual volumes of the enacted laws and publish them as the United States Statutes at Large. According to administrative law, this publication acts as legal evidence of the laws enacted by Congress.
Although these documents serve as formal legal evidence, Statutes at Large are not convenient in regards to analyzing for legal research; the documents are arranged strictly by chronological order, so that statutes addressing related topics are scattered across a number of volumes. The United States Code, is thus, an effort to make finding relevant statutes simpler by reorganizing them by subject matter and terminating amended or expired sections.
The United States Code is preserved and updated by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives. The Law Revision Counsel is responsible for determining which statutes should be codified and which existing statutes are affected by amendments, repeals or have expired as a result of their own terms.
How to search using the United States Code?
As a result of the codification process, a single named statute may or may not appear in a single place within the United States code. Often, the United States Code will feature complex legislation bundles and a series of provisions together as a means of addressing a social or governmental problem; these provisions will often be placed in different, yet logical, areas of the United States Code. For instance, a bill providing relief for family farms will invariably affect numerous subjects, from taxation, to laws on public lands.
As a result of this, when the bill is placed into the United States Code, its various provisions will be placed in different parts of those sections. In most cases, the individual sections of a statute are incorporated into the United States Code exactly as they are enacted; however, in some cases editorial alterations are made by the LRC to re-organize them.