Q. Find the Text of Public Laws


Text of public laws (back to the 104th Congress in 1995-96) is available on the Thomas Legislative System on the web at this site: http://thomas.loc.gov .  Text of bills is available back to the 101st Congress.

Just click on "Public Laws" to find summary information and a link to the text of the act.   Summary information (without the text of the law) is available back to the 93rd Congress.

GPO Access also contains the text of public and private laws enacted from the 104th Congress to the present: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=PLAW

If a law dates from before the 104th Congress, you can find the text in the US Code Congressional and Administrative News or United States Statutes at Large. You may have to check a law library or federal depository library for these, or your librarian may have access to the text of the law through a commercial database such as Lexis or Westlaw  (which go back further than Thomas).

If you know the popular name of the act, but not the date, etc. you can also check the United States Code.  If you look for the title under the Popular Name Table, you can find the public law number of the original act, as well as a list of all the subsequent amendments.  You can search the US Code online at this site:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE/ .

  • Last Updated Dec 14, 2016
  • Views 4
  • Answered By David Martin

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