Wyoming Judicial Branch

Federal Legal Information

Federal law is produced by the processes and procedures of the United States (U.S.) branches of government to include the U.S. Congress and Executive branches. The Legislative branch, through the House and Senate, produce documents such as bills, committee reports, and floor records, and also public laws, which is later listed as a statute in the U.S. Code.

The Executive branch includes many federal agencies who are responsible for issuing rules and regulations that are located in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The Judicial branch applies these statutes and regulations in cases where meaning must be given to the statute or regulation.

The Wyoming State Law Library print collection includes various primary source federal materials such as the U.S. Codes, but also secondary sources which provide explanations and citations to relevant primary sources of law. The following are recommended print sources located in the Wyoming State Law Library:

  • American Jurisprudence 2d (Call Number: KF 154.A42) : A multi-volume legal encyclopedia set which provides an overview of all subjects of law with relevant annotations. Sections of the volumes include citations to substantive and procedural law at the federal and state levels through case law, statutes and regulations.

  • Corpus Juris Secundum (Call Number: KF154.C56 2015): A multi-volume legal encyclopedia covers many areas of law which include summaries of the black letter law with citations. The summaries also include the exceptions at the state and federal levels. The case citations are accompanied by histories of the case and supporting cases.
  • Federal Practice and Procedure / Wright & Miller (Call Number: KF 8840.W68): A multi-volume set which focuses on federal civil, criminal and appellate procedure. Court rules are covered in detail and includes citations where rules were applied. In addition, forms and tables are included.
  • U.S. Code Annotated: Includes statutes with relevant cases, regulations and secondary sources. The U.S. Code Annotated (USCA) is useful for research purposes and is available in print and a legal database subscription by the two major legal publishers, Westlaw and LexisNexis. The USCA is available in print and through Westlaw but only available onsite at the Law Library.
  • U.S. Code (official version): Organized by the U.S. House of Representatives. This version of the U.S. Code (USC) does not include annotations such as case law or legal encyclopedias. A currency date for each section is listed above the text. If the law has been affected by any laws passed after that date, those laws will be listed in “Pending Updates”, otherwise the section is current. The pending update will include a public law number and a “View Details” link at the end of the list. You can also locate recently enacted laws and relevant parts which have been amended by accessing the Classification Table.
  • Federal Constitution: Provided by Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute. The Constitution provided on this webpage includes easy to locate and hyperlinked components. Each article and amendment has an attached hyperlink which provides further explanations such as case law and additional resources.
  • U.S. Bills and Legislative Materials: (Congress.gov) (1973-current): Congress.gov includes copies of House and Senate bills, Congressional Record, Committee Reports, floor activities and many other legislative documents. A quick search feature is available to access bills by Congressional Session, Legislation Number, Representative/Senator name, Committee name, or a keyword search.
  • Congressional Session, Legislation Number, Representative/Senator name, Committee name, or a keyword search.
    • Congressional Record (official version) (1994-current): This is the official record of the debates and associated proceedings of the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) publishes the Record. The Congressional Record issues the publication on a daily basis when Congress is in session and includes a Daily Digest which is a summary of floor and committee activities.
    • Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC (LLSDC): This site provides a listing of legislative resources such as the Congressional Record and Executive Orders. Other useful resources such are as research guides regarding legislative histories are includesincluded. The website mainly serves as an index with links to other websites.
  • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (official version) (1996-current): The GPO organizes and maintains the CFR. The CFR consists of rules issued by the federal departments and agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is divided into 50 titles and updated once a year. Some titles are covered in more than one volume.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) (unofficial version) (2015-current): This electronic version of the CFR is the unofficial version and is updated on a daily basis. It consists of CFR materials and Federal Register amendments maintained by the National Archives and Record Administration Office and Government Printing Office.
  • Federal Register (1994-current): The Federal Register includes notices, rules and proposes rules of Federal agencies in addition to executive orders and presidential documents. The Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publishes this daily publication.
  • Federal Digital System (FDsys): An information system maintained by the Government Printing Office (GPO) and comprised of official publications from all branches of the Federal Government. You can search and download publications. Some of the publications include: Congressional Hearings, Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Federal Register.
  • Library of Congress: Maintained by the U.S. Library of Congress and serves as an index to key websites for the three branches of government in addition to government resources.
  • DocLaw: Lists a range of subjects which are hyperlinked to relevant federal agencies’ website. On agencies’ websites you can search for various government documents or information (e.g. Subject: Education; Agency: Department of Education; Law: Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)).
  • USA.gov: The main provider of government information and services. Information on the website is arranged into topics such as jobs and unemployment to guide you to helpful resources. You can also browse topics in order to contact agencies and elected officials.