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    • How often is the United States Code published?

      • It contains 53 titles (Titles 1–54, excepting Title 53, it being reserved for small business). The main edition is published every six years by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, and cumulative supplements are published annually.
    • Department of Homeland Security. 6 CFR Part 46. 5 U.S.C. 301; P.L. 107-296, sec. 102, 306(c); P.L. 108-458, sec. 8306. Follows Common Rule and all subparts per statute (Pub.
    • Department of Agriculture. 7 CFR Part 1c. 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 300v-1(b). Common Rule Signatory.
    • Department of Energy. 10 CFR Part 745. 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 7254; 42 U.S.C. 300v-1(b). Common Rule Signatory.
    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 14 CFR Part 1230. 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 300v-1(b). Common Rule Signatory.
  1. (This Code of Ethics was unanimously passed by the United States Congress on June 27, 1980, and signed into law as Public Law 96-303 by the President on July 3, 1980.) The following state regulations pages link to this page.

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    • I. in General
    • II. Section Designation and Editing
    • A. Four Common Types of Changes
    • B. Other Changes
    • III. Source Credits
    • A. non-positive Law Titles
    • B. Positive Law Titles
    • C. Source Credit in Context
    • IV. Notes Generally
    • v. Editorial Notes

    The United States Code ("Code") contains the general and permanent laws of the United States, arranged into 54 broad titles according to subject matter. The organization of the Code was originally established by Congress in 1926 with the enactment of the act of June 30, 1926, chapter 712. Since then, 27 of the titles, referred to as positive law titles, have been restated and enacted into law by Congress as titles of the Code. The remaining titles, referred to as non-positive law titles, are made up of sections from many acts of Congress that were either included in the original Code or subsequently added by the editors of the Code, i.e., the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, and its predecessors in the House of Representatives. Positive law titles are identified by an asterisk on the Search & Browse page. For an explanation of the meaning of positive law, see the Positive Law Codificationpage. Each title of the Code is subdivided into a combination of smaller units such as subtit...

    The basic unit of every Code title is the section, and the way in which Code sections are composed can differ depending on whether the section is in a positive or non-positive law title. In a positive law title, all the sections have been enacted as sections of the title and appear in the Code in the same order, with the same section numbers, and with the exact same text as in the enacting and amending acts. In other words, a positive law title is set out in the Code just as enacted by Congress. In a non-positive law title, the text of a Code section is based on the text of a section of an act as enacted by Congress, but certain editorial changes are made to integrate the section into the Code.

    Four common types of changes are discussed below: Section designation. The first type of change involves changing the section number, known as the designation. Almost every provision of an act that is classified as a section of the Code is assigned a designation that differs from its act section number. For example, section 401 of the Social Security Act (act of August 14, 1935, chapter 531) is classified to section 601 of title 42. Most Code sections are based on an entire act section, but a few sections, such as section 2191b of title 22 and section 3642 of title 16, are based on less than an entire act section, and a few of the oldest Code sections, such as section 111 of title 16, are based on provisions from more than one act section. The source credit for each non-positive law section tells the reader what section or other unit of an act the Code section is based on, and, for some sections, a Codification note provides further information about the origin of the section. Headi...

    In the past, it was the Code style to add words such as “of this subsection”, “of this section”, and “of this chapter” following references to a paragraph, subsection, or subchapter. This practice was not only discontinued several years ago, but there has also been ongoing work to delete these editorial additions throughout all non-positive law titles. However, the words “of this title” continue to be editorially added in the course of translating references to other sections in the same title. Statutory notes contain features of both positive and non-positive law titles. As in positive law sections, the text of statutory notes is quoted exactly as it appears in the original act, without translations. However, as in non-positive law sections, brackets are inserted when needed to indicate editorial material, such as cross reference citations, dates of enactment, or classification information in Short Title and Effective Date notes. The translations and editorial changes made to secti...

    Source credits (“credits”) appear after the text of a Code section and consist of citations to each act that enacted, amended, or otherwise affected the section. With very few exceptions, source credits refer to public laws or other acts of Congress. The citation for each enacting and amending act includes the public law or chapter number , division, title, and section numbers (if any), the date of enactment, and the Statutes at Large volume and page number. For example, section 1301 of title 25 is based on section 201 of title II of Public Law (“Pub. L.”) 90-284 which was enacted on April 11, 1968, and appears at page 77 of volume 82 of the Statutes at Large. The section has also been amended by subsections (b) and (c) of section 8077 of Public Law 101-511. The credit for section 1301 reads: (Pub. L. 90-284, title II, §201, Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 77; Pub. L. 101-511, title VIII, §8077(b), (c), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1892.)

    Base law. In non-positive law titles, the first act in the source credit is almost always the “base law”. The base law is the act on which the Code section is based and of which it remains a part. In the above example of section 1301 of title 25, the base law is Public Law 90-284 because section 1301 is based on section 201 of Public Law 90-284. The base law is a feature only in non-positive law titles because in positive law titles, the sections were enacted by Congress as part of the Code title itself. A small number of Code sections are based on sections of the Revised Statutes (which was enacted in 1874 and published with corrections in a second edition in 1878). In those cases, the credit includes a Revised Statutes section number. For example, section 1983 of title 42 is based on section 1979 of the Revised Statutes (“R.S.”) and has been amended by section 1 of Public Law 96-170 and section 309(c) of Public Law 104-317. The credit for section 1983 reads: (R.S. §1979; Pub. L. 9...

    Source credits in positive law titles are similar to those in non-positive law titles, except that there is no base law. Instead, sections in a positive law title are part of the title itself and neither come from nor are part of any other law. The first citation in the credit is to the act that enacted the section. If the section was included in the title when the title was enacted as positive law, the act enacting the title simply appears as the first citation in the source credit with nothing before it . For example, title 31 was enacted as a positive law title by Public Law 97-258. Section 304 of title 31 was included in title 31 at the time the title was enacted and therefore has Public Law 97-258 as its first citation. The section was further amended by Public Law 102-390. The source credit for section 304 reads: (Pub. L. 97-258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 877; Pub. L. 102-390, title II, Sec. 225(a), (b)(1), (2), Oct. 6, 1992, 106 Stat. 1629.) Added sections. If the section of t...

    Each act listed in the source credit affected the section in some way. Typically, the act directly amended the section, and information about the amendments made by each act can be found in editorial amendment notes under the section. Sometimes the changes are more subtle, and other editorial notes, such as Change of Name or Transfer of Functions, explain those changes made by certain laws listed in the credit. Some acts in the credit amend a prior act that amended the section, rather than amend the section itself. Such an act is listed in the credit in the same manner as one that amended the section directly. Amendment notes or other editorial notes clarify whether an act amended the section or amended a prior amendatory act.

    One of the most misunderstood aspects of the Code is the notes appearing under sections. Generally speaking, a note refers to anything that follows the text and source credit of a Code section. There are a few broad categories of notes, such as editorial and statutory—explained in more detail below—as well as those issued from the executive branch or directed toward rules of Federal courts. For the convenience of the Code user in evaluating the material, notes have been grouped into categories under the following headings, determined by the authority and purpose of the material contained in each one. These categories are explained in more detail in sections V, VI, and VII. 1. Editorial Notes 2. Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries 3. Executive Documents 4. Court Rules Certain notes are not subject to such categorization, highlighting their unique function in the Code. These notes fall between the source credit and the first note category heading. Future Amendment notesappear in...

    Most sections in the Code are followed by editorial notes. These notes are prepared by the Code editors to assist users of the Code. They provide information about the section's source, derivation, history, references, translations, effectiveness and applicability, codification, defined terms, prospective amendments, and related matters. The following is an explanation of some of the types of editorial notes that may appear under a section: References in Text notes provide information about certain references contained in the text of the section. These references typically include popular names of acts such as the “Social Security Act” and names of Code units, such as “this chapter”. A References in Text note for the name of a Code unit is usually included to alert the reader that the named Code unit may not be a precise translation of the corresponding act unit appearing in the original statutory text. For example, under section 101 of title 6, there is a References in Text note th...

  3. their provisions are collected, by subject matter, in the United States Code (e.g., 7 U.S.C. § 138). Laws passed by the NYS Legislature are set forth chronologically in the Session Laws (e.g., 2009 N.Y. Laws Chapter 1) and codified in the Consolidated Laws of the State of New York (e.g., General Municipal Law § 804).

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  4. The Code contains the general and permanent laws of the United States, organized into titles based on subject matter. The Code currently consists of 54 titles and five appendices. More information on the content of the Code can be found in the Detailed Guide to the Code .

  5. The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, U.S.C., or USC) is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States. It contains 53 titles (Titles 1–54, excepting Title 53, which is reserved ...

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