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Federal Law & Government Web Sites

Updated 3/13. Links on this page verified 11/12. Direct feedback on this page to lawlib@umn.edu


Table of Contents

Executive Branch: Presidential documents & information, federal agencies information, CFR & Federal Register.
Judicial Branch: Federal court information & opinions
Legislative Branch: Constitution, statutes, bills & Congressional information.
Other Recommended Sites: for locating Federal documents, publications & information.
Acronyms, Abbreviations & Glossaries

Executive Branch

 

President

  • White House Web Site

     

  • Compilation of Presidential Documents (FDsys, GPO)
    From the web site description:  "The Compilation of Presidential Documents collection is composed of the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents and its predecessor, the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents . . . This collection integrates material from the weekly publication dating from 1993, with Daily Compilation material as published from January 20, 2009 – forward."

     

  • Presidential Directives and Where to Find Them  (Law Library of Congress)

     

  • Presidential Signing Statements (Law Library of Congress)
    From the web site: "This guide is intended to serve as an introduction to research on official pronouncements issued by the President of the United States at or near the time a bill is signed into law. Such pronouncements are called signing statements."  Includes links to additional web resources concerning presidential signing statements.

     

  • POTUS: Presidents of the United States  Information on current and past Presidents & First Ladies (Internet Public Library Project).

     

  • Presidential Libraries (National Archives and Records Administration)
    Information on researching Presidential materials and links to Presidential libraries.

     

  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
    "OMB assists the President in the development and execution of his policies and programs. OMB has a hand in the development and resolution of all budget, policy, legislative, regulatory, procurement, e-gov, and management issues on behalf of the President."

Departments & Agencies

  • Official Federal Government Web Sites - Executive Branch (Library of Congress Internet Resource Page)
    Also includes some independent agencies, boards, commissions, committees and quasi-official agencies.

     

  • Federal Agency Directory (Louisiana State Univ. Libraries & U.S. GPO) 

  • Agency Index (Federal) (Doc-Law Web, Washlaw - Washburn Univ. School of Law)
    Covers executive agencies and independent agencies and establishments. Includes a table with links by agency name to: publications, organizational charts, forms, opinions, maunuals, libraries and directories.

     

  • Federal Administrative Decisions & Other Actions (Government Information Resources University of Virginia Library)
    Links to agency documents outside the CFR & Federal Register.  Includes administrative decisions, announcements, manuals, administrative law judge information, E-FOIA reading room material and more. Browsable by agency name or by subject.

     

  • Reginfo.gov (Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, Office of Managment & Budge, Executive Office of the President)
    Displays regulatory actions and information collections currently at OIRA for review. The OIRA dashboard is a component of the site that provides an up-to-date and easy-to-read graphical representation of regulatory actions currently under review. The dashboard displays these regulatory actions by agency, length of review, economic significance, and stage of rulemaking.

  • Regulations.gov
    Find, review and submit comments on Federal government documents that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register, e.g. proposed regulations. Search by keyword or phrase or browse by agency name.

     

  • OpenRegs.com
    OpenRegs.com is an alternative to the federal government's Regulations.gov regulatory dockets database. The goal of OpenRegs.com is to make the proposed and final regulations published in the Federal Register easy to find and discuss, so that citizens can become better informed and more involved in the regulatory process.  These include the ability to browse by, and subscribe to, individual agencies and topics codes. Also available are discussion forums for each agency and each regulation, and user-submitted related links.

  • Justia: Regulation Tracker
    Similar to the Regulations.gov web site (above). Notable additional features include: retrospective coverage back to 2005 and an RSS feed subscription.

     

  • U.S. Department of Justice
    Click on the DOJ Agencies link to locate the web page of a particular bureau, division, service or office within the DOJ, e.g. FBI, Civil Rights Division, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of the Attorney General.
  •  

  • United States Attorneys' Offices Contact Information
    Includes links to local office web sites, such as the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota.

Judicial Branch

 

Federal Judiciary Home Page (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts).

 

Federal Judicial Center Home Page

 

U.S. Courts - Links (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)
Links to Federal court web sites, arranged by circuit. Includes circuit, district and other federal courts.

 

Federal Judicial Nominations (Lillian Goldman Library, Yale Law School)

 

History of the Federal Judiciary (Federal Judicial Center)
Provides a "Federal Judges Biographical Database" covering Federal judges since 1789, descriptions and legislative history information of the various Federal courts, full text of "Landmark Judicial Legislation", "Topics in Judicial History", a "Historic Courthouse Photograph Exhibit" with over 600 images of federal courthouses, essays on the creation and administration of the federal judiciary, including various administrative bodies, a “Timeline for Landmark Judicial Legislation”, and a page of links to other Federal courts historical programs

 

FDsys US Court Opinions (beta)
A growing collection of federal court opinions. Currently (10/25/2011) only opinions from three courts (8th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Federal District Court for Rhode Island and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Sourthern Florida are available.

 

Supreme Court

  • United States Supreme Court Home Page (U.S. Supreme Court)

  • Web Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Research
    A comprehensive and detailed research guide to web resources. Contains annotated links to the "most reliable substantive sites for U.S. Supreme Court research."

     

  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Supreme Court Nomination Web Page
    Includes transcripts of confirmation hearings from 1971 to the present.

     

  • The U.S. Supreme Court Justices Database (Northwestern University Law School)
    "This is a multi-user, public database containing a wealth of information on individuals nominated (whether confirmed or not) to the U.S. Supreme Court (John Jay-Samuel A. Alito, Jr). Specifically, the Database houses 263 variables, falling roughly into five categories: identifiers, background characteristics and personal attributes, nomination and confirmation, service on the Court, and departures from the bench." Excel, SPSS & STATA versions are available.

     

  • Supreme Court Database (School of Law, Washington University in St. Louis)
    The database currently contains data from 1953 to 2008. It will be updated each term going forward. The site contains a streamlined interface that allows anyone to go online and pull up cases with ease, and perform simple analyses. The site also contains downloadable formats for analysis in a variety of statistical packages. Both Case Centered and Justice Centered data are provided. In the Case Centered data the unit of analysis is the case; i.e., each row of the dataset contains information about an individual dispute. These data should be used unless the votes of the individuals justices are of interest. The Justice Centered data include a row for each justice participating in each dispute.

     

  • Supreme Court Historical Society

  • SCOTUSblog
    "... devoted to comprehensively covering the U.S. Supreme Court-without bias and according to the highest journalistic and legal ethical standards. The blog is provided as a public service and is sponsored by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP."

Supreme Court Opinions, Records & Briefs

Circuit Court Web Sites & Opinions

 

 

Federal District Courts

 

  • U.S. Court of Appeals and District Courts Interactive Map (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts)
    This map displays the geographic boundaries of the Federal U.S. Circuit and District courts. Clicking on a particular Circuit or District will take users to a selection of links to the web sites and Pacer and CM/ECF databases for the courts in that circuit/district.

Federal Courts in Minnesota


Legislative Branch

 

  • THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet Congressional and legislative information, bills, laws (Library of Congress).  Note: Thomas will be replaced by Congress.gov (below) in November 2013.

     

  • Congress.gov (beta version)
    The beta version of the site contains legislation from the 103rd Congress (1993) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972).  Note:  Congress.gov will replace Thomas in November 2013.
     

     

  • GovTrack.us
    "On this site you'll find the status of legislation, the speeches of representatives on the House and Senate floors, voting records, campaign contribution summaries, and more, plus the opinions of other users through their blog entries. And you can follow only the issues that interest you through email updates and RSS feeds."
  •  

  • Federal Digital System (FDsys) (U.S. Government Printing Office).
    FDsys provides public access to Government information submitted by Congress and the Federal agenices. Some of the congressional publications on FDsys include: bills (103rd Cong. 1993 to present), House & Senate Documents and Senate Treaty Documents (99th Cong., 1985 - present), Congressional Hearings (99th Cong. 1985 - present), the Congressional Record (vol. 140, 1994 - current), Congressional Reports (104th Cong., 1995 - current) and Public and Private Laws (104th Cong., 1995 - current).  Congressional documents may also be browsed by committee, e.g. House or Senate standing committees, special committees, panels, commissions.

     

  • United States House of Representatives Home Page

     

  • United States Senate Home Page

     

  • LLSDC Legislative Source Book (Compiled by the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. - Legislative Research SIS).
    Contains a number of useful resources for researching federal legislative and regulatory history.

     

  • Center for Legislative Archives (National Archives & Records Administration)
    Includes information on accessing the records congress. Contains finding aids for legislative records and links to online resources.

     

  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation (Library of Congress - American Memory Project)
    U.S. Congressional documents & debates from the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and the 1st-42nd Congresses: 1774-1873. The web site also includes volumes 1-17 of the U.S. Statutes at Large, which contain the laws of the 1st - 42nd Congresses (1789-1873).

     

  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
    The CBO's mission is to "provide Congress with objective, timely nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with informamtion and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

     

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    "The GAO is the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of Congress." Web site includes GAO reports, testimony and Comptroller General Decisions and Opinions.

     

  • Open CRS (Center for Democracy & Technology)
    One of the largest repositories of CRS reports. Open CRS's collection was recently boosted by the acquisition of over 6,000 reports from Wikileaks. CRS Reports provids a Google search box for locating CRS reports. A typical search result includes the report title, date and order number, along with a detailed summary and link(s) to the full-text. In its "collections" section the web site provides links to the major (largest) collections of CRS Reports on the web. The major collections are: National Council for Science and the Environment, Thurgood Marshall Law Library, Federation of American Scientists, and the IP Mall at Franklin Pierce Law Center.

     

  • Congressional Research Service Reports (Univ. of North Texas Digital Library)
    This site is not affiliated with the Congressional Research Service, but aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different web sites since 1990. Reports were downloaded from a variety of web sites that host CRS reports, either currently or in the past. Many CRS reports are updated on a regular basis, and this site includes all versions of the reports that could be located. When HTML files were captured, a note was inserted at the top of the report indicating from where the files were downloaded. To prevent the need for constant maintenance of files, most external links have been removed. Metadata has been created for each report, including subject terms from the Legislative Indexing Vocabulary, supplemented with Library of Congress Subject Headings. Users have the ability to search by keyword, title, author, subject, and report number.

     

  • Congressional Research Service Reports (Thurgood Marshall Law Library, Univ. of Maryland Law School)
    An online collection of links to CRS reports available on the web. Reports are browsable by subject, date, title and order code. The site also includes links to other online collections of CRS reports.

     

  • Links to Congressional Information from Official & Non-Official Sources (Library of Congress Internet Resource Page)

     


Other Sites for Locating Federal Documents & Publications

 

  • University of Minnesota Government Publications Library

     

  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

     

  • Federal Web Harvests (NARA)
    "The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserved a one-time snapshot of agency public web sites as they existed on or before January 20, 2001, as an archival record in the National Archives of the United States. NARA also conducted a harvest (i.e., capture) of Federal Agency public web sites in 2004 and of Congressional web sites in 2006, 2008 and 2010."

     

  • FDsys Federal Digital System (Government Printing Office)
    "The migration of information from GPO Access into FDsys will be complete in 2010...". Various Federal documents and pubications are available on FDsys, e.g. Compilation of Presidential Documents. More will continue to be added daily throughout the conversion from GPO Access to FDsys.

     

  • FirstGov ("The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal")
    USA.gov is an interagency initiative administered by the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. "As the U.S. government's official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government."

     

  • Google Uncle Sam Use Google to search government (.gov) and military (.mil) web sites.

     

  • FedWorld Information Network (National Technical Information Service)
    "The FedWorld.gov web site is a gateway to government information. This site is managed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) as part of it's information management mandate."

     

  • FindLaw - Federal Resources Page (FindLaw)

     

  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
    "The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general key word, or click on "Advanced Search" for more options. More than 500,000 records generated since July 1976 are contained in the CGP and it is updated daily. For publications issued prior to 1976, the printed Monthly Catalog should be consulted."

     

  • MetaLib (U.S. GPO)
    A service of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, MetaLib is a federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online. Refine your search results by exploring the various topics, date ranges, and author names.

     

  • CyberCemetery (U.S. GPO and Univ. of North Texas Libraries)
    This web site provides access to the web sites and electroic publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.

Acronyms, Abbreviations & Glossaries

 

  • GovSpeak: A Guide to Government Acronyms & Abbreviations
    "This guide lists acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by the United States federal government. Each acronym is defined and links to the home page (or best alternative) of the identified department, agency, office, program or publication.".

     

  • Military Acronyms & Glossaries (Indiana Univ. - Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis University Library)
    A list of links to military-related acronyms and glossaries.

     

  • U.S. Senate Glossary
    Provides a brief definitions of terms related to Congress and the legislative process.