Secondary Authority - CRS Reports - Legal Research [HTML-Only]

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CRS Reports Related to General Legal Research Topics

This page contains useful background reports on topics related to the sources of primary authority in the federal legal system of the United States.


Introduction to American Government

    • American National Government: An Overview, RS20443 (May 20, 2003). (pdf)


Introduction to Statutory Law

Introduction to Federal Statutes

    • Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them, RL30812 (January 30, 2009). (pdf)
    • How Bills Amend Statutes, RS20617 (August 4, 2003). (pdf)

Statutory Interpretation

    • Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends, 97-589 (August 31, 2008). (pdf)

Territorial Reach of American Statutes

    • Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law, 94-166 (March 26, 2010). (pdf)


Introduction to the Sources of Administrative Law

Presidential Rules

    • Presidential Directives: Background and Overview, 98-611 (November 26, 2008). (pdf)
    • Executive Orders: Issuance and Revocation, RS20846 (March 25, 2010). (pdf)
    • The Executive Office of the President: An Historical Overview, 98-606 (November 26, 2008). (pdf)

Congressional Rules

    • House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison, RL30945 (April 16, 2008). (pdf)

Judicial Rules

    • Promulgating Procedural Rules For the United States District Courts and Courts of Appeals, 98-292 (March 26, 1998). (pdf)


Introduction to the Sources of International Law

Treaties and Other International Agreements

    • International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law, RL32528 (January 26, 2010). (pdf)


Introduction to Legal Research and Legislative Planning

Tracking Congressional Legislation and Administrative Rulemaking

    • Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources, RL33895 (February 28, 2007). (pdf)

Legislative Research in Congressional Offices

    • Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer, RL30796 (January 9, 2001). (pdf)
    • Legislative Planning: Considerations for Congressional Staff, RS20991 (June 5, 2008). (pdf)

Role of the Congressional Research Service

    • The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process, RL33471 (March 19, 2008). (pdf)