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Written Laws - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Written Laws. Statues and Regulations. Statues. Power from Constitution Article I, Section 1 “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a House and Senate.” US Code Laws . Administrative Laws Regulations. Rule making

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Written Laws

Statues and Regulations

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  • Power from Constitution

  • Article I, Section 1

    • “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a House and Senate.”

  • US Code

  • Laws

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Administrative LawsRegulations

  • Rule making

  • Published first in Federal Register

  • Then Codified in Code of Federal Regulations CFR

  • Difference between CFR and USC

  • USGS guide to Federal laws and regulations

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Steps in Legislative Process

  • See Maryland state handout

  • Federal overview at THOMAShttp://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html

    • Bill

      • Introduced by member could be written by lobbyists

    • Sent to committee

      • Hearings

      • Marked up

      • Voted on in committee

      • Congressional Quarterly

      • Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/

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  • If out of committee

  • Possible amendments

  • Different versions from House and Senate

  • Senate-House Conference Committee

  • Both houses must vote affirmative

  • To President

    • Sign

    • Veto 2/3 to override

    • Pocket veto

    • Becomes law after 10 days of no action if Congress is still in session

  • Ben guide from GPO

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Slip Laws

  • The first official publication of the statute is in the form generally known as the "slip law". In this form, each law is published separately as an unbound pamphlet.

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Page number

Slip Law

Volume number

Bill number in sequence

Session of Congress

Where in the code it will be placed

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Statutes at Large

  • The United States Statutes at Large, prepared by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration, provide a permanent collection of the laws of each session of Congress in bound volumes. The latest volume containing the laws of the first session of the 105th Congress is number 111 in the series. Each volume contains a complete index and a table of contents. A legislative history appears at the end of each law. There are extensive marginal notes referring to laws in earlier volumes and to earlier and later matters in the same volume.

  • Under the provisions of a statute originally enacted in 1895, these volumes are legal evidence of the laws contained in them and will be accepted as proof of those laws in any court in the United States.

  • The Statutes at Large are a chronological arrangement of the laws exactly as they have been enacted. There is no attempt to arrange the laws according to their subject matter or to show the present status of an earlier law that has been amended on one or more occasions. The code of laws serves that purpose.

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Page number

Volume number

Session of


Bill number

Official name

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United States CodeUSC

  • contains a consolidation and codification of the general and permanent laws of the United States arranged according to subject matter under 50 title headings.

  • It sets out the current status of the laws, as amended, without repeating all the language of the amendatory acts except where necessary.

  • Its purpose is to present the laws in a concise and usable form without requiring recourse to the many volumes of the Statutes at Large containing the individual amendments.

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U.S. Code Titles

  • 50 titles organized by topic

  • Organization

    • Title

    • Section

    • 14 USC 1225

  • Popular Names

  • Cornell U.S. Code Site

  • Title 16 Conservation

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Start on Environmental Statues and USC Laws

  • Cornell home page

  • Property and Environment

  • Clean Water Act

  • Statue find in Notes

  • Parallel authorities

    • connection between US Code and regulations

    • each regulation must be based on Statute passed by Congress

  • CFR (regulations from Agencies)

  • How to cite section on permit for dredge and fill into wetlands

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  • Page with section 404

  • Where is section 404 in the USC?

    Parallel authorities

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Administrative LawsRegulations

  • Rule making

  • Published first in Federal Register

  • Then Codified in Code of Federal Regulations CFR

  • Difference between CFR and USC

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  • Organization by issuing agency

  • Codified regulations

  • Regulations start from agency

  • Printed in Federal Register

    • Contains notices, rules, EIS status, etc from Federal agencies

  • Then codified in CFR

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Federal Register

  • GPO access

  • Current issue

  • Back issues

  • HTML linked to page

  • Go to page and then browse

  • EPA

    • Federal Register - Environmental DocumentsFull text of all Federal Register documents issued by EPA, and of selected documents issued by other Departments and Agencies. Notices, meetings, proposed rules, and regulations are divided into twelve topical categories for easy access (eg. air, water, pesticides, toxics, waste).

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  • CRF from GPO access

  • Show


    • Browse CFR

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Sites for starting looking for possible laws of interest

  • FedLaw

  • USGS guide to Environmental laws

  • Federal Laws

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  • Pick a bill that has been submitted in the House or Senate (Or change in rules (check NRDC site for rules currently being changed))

  • From Thomas find out current status

  • From google search find pro and con on the piece of legislation

  • Write letter or e-mail in support or against the bill to your Senator or Representative

  • Suggestions on writing

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Comment on proposed rule

  • Find notice in Federal Register, give date page, title of notice

  • Provide cover sheet with information from Federal register

  • And

  • Copy of letter sent

  • Example look at Sierra Club and NRDC for road less rule changes then visit GPO Federal Register or EPA Federal Register page

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Example current energy bill

  • THOMAS U.S. Congress

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Example energy bill

  • Conference committee members and staff continue working to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the comprehensive energy bill (H.R. 6, S. 14). Environmentalists oppose both versions of the bill because they would fail to reduce dependence on foreign oil, open fragile lands to oil and gas drilling, raise nuclear proliferation risks, threaten drinking water safety, and provide billions to polluting industries while lacking significant energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives. Republicans control the conference committee and Democrats have publicly complained of being shut out of the conference process. Conference Republicans have begun releasing portions of the bill, including sections that would allow offshore oil and gas surveys and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In some cases, the sections include measures that were not in either the original House or Senate versions of the bill, such as subsidies for the coal industry. On 10/17, Rep. Barton (R-TX) added language to the conference report that would delay the deadline for large cities to meet air quality standards for ozone as required by the Clean Air Act. On 10/16, the House voted 229-182 to instruct energy bill conferees to leave out language that was added in conference requiring damaging offshore oil and gas exploration. Sen. Domenici (R-NM), Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, hopes to hold a vote on the final energy bill conference report before the end of October. Senate Democrats have stated that the addition of the Arctic drilling language will draw intense opposition, including a possible filibuster.


Google search for

comprehensive energy bill

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Sites for Current legislation and regulations


  • Sierra Club

  • National Wildlife Federation

  • Environmental Defense Fund

  • Defenders of Wildlife