FEDERAL ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Administrative law deals with documents, rules, regulations and decisions from the executive office of the president, as well as 15 executive departments and 83 independent agencies. This guide will help you navigate agency materials, citators, presidential documents and rules and regulations. For a general overview of administrative law see Suffolk University Law Library's guide to Treatises and Looseleafs on Administrative Law or view a PowerPoint slide show on Federal & Massachusetts Administrative Law.
Many federal agencies and major regulatory commisions publish official reports of their decisions. Most decisions are first released as slip decisions and advance pamphlets. Eventually these are cumulated into permanent bound volumes. In addition, a number of commercial publishers have created subject specific loose-leaf sets that contain primary and secondary sources including, administrative decisions, statutes, regulations, court cases, and news of proposed and pending legislation. Loose-leaf services are updated regularly, on a weekly or monthly basis and generally contain user-friendly indexes. For a complete list of official agency reports and commercial services, take a look at Appendix D in How to Find the Law or Finding the Law.
Below is a sample list of some of the more popular agency reports and loose-leaf titles:
Federal Trade Commission : Trade Regulation Reports , 7 v. (loose-leaf) KF1606.5 .C651, LAW TREATISES (FL 5)
U.S. Government Manual. JK421 .A3 (LAW REFERENCE 6th FL) or access it online via FDsys;
Other Agency Publications
The Government Printing Office publishes numerous Federal agency publications such as annual reports, booklets, statistical summaries and newsletters. To locate these materials search the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. The Catalog provides an index to print and electronic publications created by Federal agencies. When available, links are provided to the full-text of these publications. Coverage begins with January 1994. New records are added daily. Many library's in the area collect government documents and Boston Public Library is the regional depository. If you don't find what you need online, stop by the reference desk on the 6th floor and speak with a reference librarian.
Official administrative agency websites contain a host of helpful materials including forms, newsletters, topical pamphlets, statistics, annual reports, briefs (Department of Justice), policy guidelines, etc.
Agency decisions, rules and regulations can be overturned or challenged in court. Use the following citators to review judicial treatment of regulations.
The President has the power to issue executive orders, proclamations and other legal documents. Proclamations are general announcements to the nation and usually deal with ceremonical issues. From time to time Presidential Proclamations might deal with trade policy or tariff issues. Executive Orders are more serious in nature and are generally issued to government officials. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is the most comprehensive source of presidential documents. It includes orders and proclamations as well as nominations, announcements, transcripts of speeches and press conferences, and other legal documents. Proclamations and Executive Orders are also published in the Federal Register . At the end of each year, they are published in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations .
Each administrative agency specializes in a particular area of law and creates rules and regulations accordingly. The detailed rules or regulations created by these administrative agencies are published in the United States Code , Statutes at Large , the Code of Federal Regulations the Federal Register , and various commercial services. You will also want to review these resources if you're interested in researching the statutes that govern the powers of the president and the executive agencies. If you need to research the legislative history of a particular statute take a look at the following links to CIS Congressional Universe , FDsys and Thomas . To learn more on researching legislative history, see Suffolk University Law Library's Guide to Federal Legislative History or talk with a reference librarian.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email:
Diane D'Angelo, Reference Librarian.
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