United States Code of Laws - Explained
What is the US Code?
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What is the Code of Laws of the United States?
The Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives codifies and consolidates the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States by its subjects in order to simplify the reading of the laws. This codified and consolidated compilation of the laws is known as the United States Code of Law. The US Code of Law is divided into 53 titles based on broad subjects. This Code of Law is also referred to as the Code of Laws of the United States of America, United States Code, or USC. It was published in 1926 for the first time. The next main edition was published in 1934, and since then, the main editions have been published every six years. The most current information is published in the cumulative supplements which are published each year.
How Does the US Code of Laws Work?
After a law is passed by the Congress and signed by the President of the United States, it is first published as a "slip law" by the Office of the Federal Register. The slip laws are published in the form of an unbound pamphlet. The slip laws may provide various information including (i) the bill number; (ii) the law number, public or private; (iii) date of enactment of the law; (iv) Citation to laws mentioned in the text is provided in the form of editorial note; and (v) information regarding the legislative history of the bill.
All the laws passed in a particular session of the US Congress is compiled by the Office of the Federal Register at the end of each session. It is compiled in the United States Statutes at Large in chronological order based on the date of enactment of the laws. This compilation includes both private and public laws that are passed in that particular session.
As in the Statutes at large, the laws are organized in chronological order, it is often difficult to read it through. The laws regarding related topics may be scattered across many volumes which makes it inconvenient to gather all the pieces together to have a clear perspective. Earlier laws are often repealed and amended by the statutes and in order to determine which laws are in force at any given time requires an extensive cross-referencing. The United States Codes aims to simplify the reading of the law by categorizing them by subject matter and eliminating the expired and amended laws.
It is the responsibility of the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the United States House of Representatives to determine the statutes that should be codified. They also identify the statutes that are affected by an amendment or repeal in order to eliminate any redundant version of the statute.
Only the general and permanent laws are codified in the United States Code and each subject is assigned its own title. The titles are then subdivided into a combination of smaller units including subtitles, chapters, subchapters, sections, part, subparts, paragraph, subparagraph, etc. It also provides different finding aids such as subject index and tables. It provides Popular Name Table, Statutes at Large Table, etc.
in order to simplify and contextualize the reading of the laws, the statutes in the US Code of Laws are organized according to the following titles:
- Title 1General Provisions
- Title 2The Congress
- Title 3The President
- Title 4Flag And Seal, Seat Of Government, And The States
- Title 5Government Organization And Employees; and Appendix
- Title 6Domestic Security
- Title 8Aliens And Nationality
- Title 9Arbitration
- Title 10Armed Forces
- Title 11Bankruptcy; and Appendix
- Title 12Banks And Banking
- Title 13Census
- Title 14Coast Guard Title 15Commerce And Trade
- Title 16Conservation
- Title 17Copyrights
- Title 18Crimes And Criminal Procedure; and Appendix
- Title 19Customs Duties
- Title 20Education
- Title 21Food And Drugs
- Title 22Foreign Relations And Intercourse
- Title 23Highways
- Title 24Hospitals And Asylums
- Title 25Indians
- Title 26Internal Revenue Code
- Title 27Intoxicating Liquors
- Title 28Judiciary And Judicial Procedure; and Appendix
- Title 29Labor
- Title 30Mineral Lands And Mining
- Title 31Money And Finance
- Title 32National Guard
- Title 33Navigation And Navigable Waters
- Title 34Crime Control And Law Enforcement
- Title 35Patents
- Title 36Patriotic And National Observances, Ceremonies, And Organizations
- Title 37Pay And Allowances Of The Uniformed Services
- Title 38Veterans' Benefits
- Title 39Postal Service
- Title 40Public Buildings, Property, And Works
- Title 41Public Contracts
- Title 42The Public Health And Welfare
- Title 43Public Lands
- Title 44Public Printing And Documents
- Title 45Railroads
- Title 46Shipping
- Title 47Telecommunications
- Title 48Territories And Insular Possessions
- Title 49Transportation
- Title 50War And National Defense; and Appendix
- Title 51National And Commercial Space Programs
- Title 52Voting And Elections
- Title 53[Reserved]
- Title 54National Park Service And Related Programs
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