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Free and Low-Cost Legal Research: Federal Resources

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Federal Resources
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     Regulations
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STATUTES AND CONSTITUTION

U.S.CODE
Ross-Blakley Law Library: Federal Legislature Research Guide
This research guide is designed to assist you in identifying and locating federal legislation at all stages of its progress through Congress, from proposal to enactment. The guide links to both free resources and subscription resources. 

Office of the Law Revision Counsel: U.S. Code (1994-current)
The Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives prepares and publishes the United States Code. The currency date for each section of the Code is displayed above the text of the section. If the section has been affected by any laws enacted after that date, those laws will appear in a list of "Pending Updates". If there are no pending updates listed, the section is current as shown.

GovInfo: U.S. Code (1994-current)
GovInfo, the website of the Government Publishing Office, provides access to the U.S. Code for the years 1994-present. GovInfo does not provide the most current version of the code but it is a good source for historical research.

U.S.Public Laws
The U.S. code classification tables show where recently enacted laws will appear in the United States Code and which sections of the Code have been amended by those laws. Includes tables that go back to 1996.

Cornell University Law School: LII:  US Code Collection homepage (current)
This webpage is the main page to access the LII U.S. Code collection.  The Code is searchable by title and section as well as by browsing the table of contents. 

Congress.gov
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. It provides information on every bill and resolution introduced in the U.S. Congress since 1973 and every amendment introduced or submitted since 1981. Other resources available on the website include the Congressional Record (1995-present), committee reports, committee hearings, and profiles of members of Congress.

U.S. CONSTITUTION
GovInfo
Analysis and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is provided by the Government Publishing Office.  There are links to the text and to constitutional law cases.

Cornell University Law School LII: U.S. Constitution
Cornell University Law School provides free access to the text of the constitution and amendments.  

CASES

U.S. SUPREME COURT
Ross-Blakley Law Library: U..S Supreme Court Research Guide
This guide details resources for locating materials on the United States Supreme Court and its decisions.  It describes resources for Court opinions, orders, briefs, oral arguments, dockets, petitions for certiorari, and news.  The guide focuses on resources available in the Ross-Blakley Law Library and free electronic sources.

Justia Supreme Court Center
The Justia Supreme Court Center has Court opinions from 1759-present available; cases are organized by year.

Legal Information Institute
The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School allows searching of Court opinions from 1990 to the present, with selected historical opinions (1789-1990) available.  Opinions can also be browsed by topic, author, and party name.

Oyez Project
The Oyez Project at the Chicago-Kent College of Law has Court opinions from 1793 to the present available.

SCOTUSblog
The SCOTUSblog has Court opinions from 2007 to the present available.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar has the full-text of U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1790 to the present. The advanced search option will allow you to limit your search to only Supreme Court cases.
 

LOWER FEDERAL COURTS
Ross-Blakley Law Library: Federal Courts Research Guide
The Federal Courts Research Guide provides assistance in locating the decisions and related materials of the United States federal judicial system.  It describes resources for accessing opinions, dockets, court filings, and court rules.  The guide focuses on resources available in the Ross-Blakley Law Library and free electronic sources

United States Court Opinions (GovInfo)
The United States Courts Opinions (USCOURTS) collection is a project between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) to provide public access to opinions from selected United States appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. Coverage is from 2004 to present, with incomplete coverage from select jurisdictions beginning earlier. Opinions can be downloaded as PDF documents.

Federal Courts Web Archive
The Federal Courts Web Archive, on the website of the Library of Congress, provides retrospective archival coverage of federal judiciary websites. Websites included in the archives include the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, trial courts, and other tribunals. Information available on the archives webpages includes slip opinions, transcripts, dockets, rules, calendars, judicial biographies, and statistics.

Justia U.S. Federal Courts Case Law
Justia provides access to case law from the Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and special federal courts. Coverage varies by jurisdiction.

Google Scholar Federal Case Law Search
Google Scholar has Supreme Court cases from 1791-present and federal trial, appellate, tax, and bankruptcy cases since 1923.

Public Library of Law
The Public Library of Law provides free access to case law and other primary sources of law.  Included are cases from the US Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals.  

PACER
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy courts. Creating an account in PACER and viewing judicial opinions is free. Viewing other court documents costs $0.10/ a page, although users who incur less than $15 in charges per quarter are not billed.

COURT RULES

GENERAL RULES
The general federal court rules include the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (F.R.C.P.), Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure(F.R.Crim.P.), Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (F.R.App.P.), and the Federal Rules of Evidence (F.R.E.).

Federal Rules of Practice & Procedure (U.S. Courts)
The U.S. Courts website provides access to the federal court rules and forms currently in effect.

Federal Rules (Cornell Legal Information Institute)
The Cornell Legal Information Institute (CLII) provides access to the current federal court rules, along with Committee notes. The CLII website also offers a search function for the rules.

LOCAL RULES
Courts Website Links (U.S. Courts)
This U.S. Courts webpage provides links to lower federal court websites. Federal courts are required by law to post local rules on their websites.

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT
Court Rules
 (Supreme Court of the United States)
The Supreme Court’s website provides the rules for the Court. It includes information about revisions to the rules as well as information for counsel about the rules. It provides the current rules and the prior version of the rules.

Rules of the Supreme Court (Cornell Legal Information Institute)
The Cornell Legal Information Institute (CLII) provides access to the current (unannotated) version of the Supreme Court Rules. The CLII website also offers a search function for the Rules.

RULES FOR SPECIAL FEDERAL COURTS
Rules of Practice and Procedure (U.S. Tax Court)
The U.S. Tax Court website provides access to the current Tax Court rules.

USCIT Rules (U.S. Court of International Trade)
The U.S. Court of International Trade website provides access to the current USCIT rules.

Rules and Forms (U.S. Court of Federal Claims)
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims website provides access to the current USCFC rules.

Rules of Practice and Procedure (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces  website provides access to the current court rules.

Rules of Practice and Procedure (U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims website provides access to the current court rules.

REGULATIONS

FEDERAL REGISTER
Federalregister.gov
The Office of the Federal Register provides free online access to regulatory information including the current issue of the Federal Register. Information can be searched by keyword or browsed by agency/topic.

GovInfo: Federal Register
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, notices of federal agencies and organizations,executive orders and other presidential documents. GovInfo provides free access to the Federal Register for 1980-present.

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS
e-CFR
This is the most current electronic source of the CFR provided by the GPO and the Office of the CFR.  It is updated daily.  It does not provide the official version of the CFR.

GovInfo: CFR
GovInfo provides access to the Code of Federal Regulations for 1996-present. It is not the most current version of the CFR, but is useful for historical research. 

CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS

Ross-Blakley Law Library: Federal Legislative History Research Guide
This research guide provides information on Congressional documents and where those documents can be accessed, as well as on how to conduct legislative history research using those documents.

Congress.gov
Congress.gov, from the Library of Congress, is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. It contains committee profiles, the Congressional Record and Congressional Record Index, and bill profiles for the years 1995-present.

GovInfo
GovInfo, from the Government Publishing Office, provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Dates of coverage vary by resource.

Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation 
This website, made available by the Library of Congress, contains U.S. congressional documents and debates for the years 1774-1875. It contains records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress through the Forty-second Congress.