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Law: US Federal Regulations, Executive Orders, & Administrative/Executive Branch

Best Bets for Regulation

The Exectuve branch is tasked with implementing legislation. Regulations are the rules developed by government agencies like the EPA or FDA to deal with specific details not included in legislation. Regulations are introduced in the Federal Register, which is published daily, and the public is given a set period of time to comment on the proposed regulations. The final version of the regulation is also published in the Federal Register and then codified (arranged by subject) in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Code of Federal Regulations

CFR photo - Coolcaesar at English Wikipedia

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis. The annual update cycle is as follows: titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1; titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1; titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1, and titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1. Each title is divided into chapters, which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR refer to material at the section level.

Because these standards are mainly for lawyers who are citing a particular point of law, for statutes and regulations, the best practice is to cite the codified (code) version of the law (e.g., the xx U.S.C. § xxx, xx C.F.R. § xxx, etc.) unless the law is too new to have been codified, distributed across so many codes, no longer valid, being discussed in the context of its passage, or is otherwise impractical to cite this way. For policy research, you are often citing bills or regulations that have been introduced but not passed/finalized/enacted/enrolled, or else you are citing the final version of the legislation or regulation but not the code.

Federal Register

Federal Register image -

Federal Register (FR)
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. 

Executive Orders

Other Presidential Documents

Other Key Executive Branch Documents

United States Political Datasets & Statistics

Use these resources to find data and statistics on American politics.