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Federal Code research tips

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  • Frog Farmer
    Speaking of reading the law, the following is a quote from a Cornell Law School page I was directed to, and I thought it had some good tips for research so
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2007
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      Speaking of reading the law, the following is a quote from a Cornell Law
      School page I was directed to, and I thought it had some good tips for
      research so here it is:

      "There may be a more up-to-date version of this section at the GPO. You
      may also get a list of bills that mention this section from the Thomas
      system at the Library of Congress.

      For a number of reasons you may want to check for updates manually. It
      is possible that the GPO server is down or busy, or that the update
      service offered by GPO is itself out of date.

      UPDATING A SECTION MANUALLY

      To determine if particular section has been amended you need to inspect
      the so-called "classification tables" prepared by the Office of the Law
      Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives. These map
      recently-passed laws and amendments to the Code to the particular
      sections of the Code that are affected. You can find them at the House
      server. Using the title and section of the Code that you are interested
      in, look through the tables sorted by Code section. Write down any of
      the Public Law numbers that affect the section you are interested in.

      USING THE UPDATE RESULTS WITH THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS DATABASE

      Using the Public Law number(s), you can use the Library of Congress
      database (Thomas) to retrieve and read the actual text of the
      amendments. To do this, go to the Thomas database and click on the link
      labelled "public laws". Pick the Congress you're interested in -- this
      will be the number to the left of the hyphen in the Public Law number
      (for example, PL 108-123 is the 123rd law passed by the 108th Congress).
      You can then use the Thomas system to navigate to the particular law you
      are interested in."
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