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This is a chronological, but still incomplete, list of United States federal legislation. Congress has enacted approximately 200–600 statutes during each of its 115 biennial terms so that more than 30,000 statutes have been enacted since 1789.
At the federal level in the United States, legislation (i.e., "statutes" or "statutory law") consists exclusively of Acts passed by the Congress of the United States and its predecessor, the Continental Congress, that were either signed into law by the President or passed by Congress after a presidential veto.
Legislation is not the only source of regulations with the force of law. However, most executive branch and judicial branch [ citation needed ] regulations must originate in a congressional grant of power. See also: Executive orders of the President; regulations of Executive branch departments and administrative agencies; and the procedural rules of the federal courts.
Acts of Congress are published in the United States Statutes at Large . Volumes 1 through 18, which have all the statutes passed from 1789 to 1875, are available on-line at the Library of Congress, here. In the list below, statutes are listed by X Stat. Y, where X is the volume of the Statutes at Large and Y is the page number, as well as either the chapter or Public Law number. See examples below.
Each Congress has two to four sessions. Under the numbering system used from 1789 until 1957, the Acts in each session are numbered sequentially as Chapters. This numbering included both laws applicable to the general public and laws relating to specific individuals, e.g., to grant pensions to disabled veterans.
|Start date||End date||List of enacted legislation||Public laws||Private laws|
|1935-01-03||1937-01-03||List of acts of the 74th United States Congress||849||730|
|1937-01-03||1939-01-03||List of acts of the 75th United States Congress||788||835|
|1939-01-03||1941-01-03||List of acts of the 76th United States Congress||894||651|
|1941-01-03||1943-01-03||List of acts of the 77th United States Congress||850||635|
|1943-01-03||1945-01-03||List of acts of the 78th United States Congress||568||589|
|1945-01-03||1947-01-03||List of acts of the 79th United States Congress||734||892|
|1947-01-03||1949-01-03||List of acts of the 80th United States Congress||906||457|
|1949-01-03||1951-01-03||List of acts of the 81st United States Congress||921||1103|
|1951-01-03||1953-01-03||List of acts of the 82nd United States Congress||594||1023|
|1953-01-03||1955-01-03||List of acts of the 83rd United States Congress||781||1002|
|1955-01-03||1957-01-03||List of acts of the 84th United States Congress||1028||893|
|1957-01-03||1959-01-03||List of acts of the 85th United States Congress||936||784|
|1959-01-03||1961-01-03||List of acts of the 86th United States Congress||800||492|
|1961-01-03||1963-01-03||List of acts of the 87th United States Congress||885||684|
|1963-01-03||1965-01-03||List of acts of the 88th United States Congress||666||360|
|1965-01-03||1967-01-03||List of acts of the 89th United States Congress||810||473|
|1967-01-03||1969-01-03||List of acts of the 90th United States Congress||640||362|
|1969-01-03||1971-01-03||List of acts of the 91st United States Congress||695||246|
|1971-01-03||1973-01-03||List of acts of the 92nd United States Congress||607||161|
|1973-01-03||1975-01-03||List of acts of the 93rd United States Congress||649||123|
|1975-01-03||1977-01-03||List of acts of the 94th United States Congress||588||141|
|1977-01-03||1979-01-03||List of acts of the 95th United States Congress||633||170|
|1979-01-03||1981-01-03||List of acts of the 96th United States Congress||613||123|
|1981-01-03||1983-01-03||List of acts of the 97th United States Congress||473||56|
|1983-01-03||1985-01-03||List of acts of the 98th United States Congress||623||54|
|1985-01-03||1987-01-03||List of acts of the 99th United States Congress||664||24|
|1987-01-03||1989-01-03||List of acts of the 100th United States Congress||713||48|
|1989-01-03||1991-01-03||List of acts of the 101st United States Congress||650||16|
|1991-01-03||1993-01-03||List of acts of the 102nd United States Congress||590||20|
|1993-01-03||1995-01-03||List of acts of the 103rd United States Congress||465||8|
|1995-01-03||1997-01-03||List of acts of the 104th United States Congress||333||4|
|1997-01-03||1999-01-03||List of acts of the 105th United States Congress||394||10|
|1999-01-03||2001-01-03||List of acts of the 106th United States Congress||580||24|
|Start date||End date||List of enacted legislation||Public laws||Private laws|
|2001-01-03||2003-01-03||List of acts of the 107th United States Congress||377||6|
|2003-01-03||2005-01-03||List of acts of the 108th United States Congress||498||6|
|2005-01-03||2007-01-03||List of acts of the 109th United States Congress||482||1|
|2007-01-03||2009-01-03||List of acts of the 110th United States Congress||460||0|
|2009-01-03||2011-01-03||List of acts of the 111th United States Congress||383||2|
|2011-01-03||2013-01-03||List of acts of the 112th United States Congress||283||1|
|2013-01-03||2015-01-03||List of acts of the 113th United States Congress||296||0|
|2015-01-03||2017-01-03||List of acts of the 114th United States Congress||329||0|
|2017-01-03||2019-01-03||List of acts of the 115th United States Congress||442||1|
|2019-01-03||2020-01-03||List of acts of the 116th United States Congress||344||0|
|2020-01-03||-||List of acts of the 117th United States Congress||0||0|
The Code of Laws of the United States of America is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States. It contains 53 titles. 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. The official version of those laws not codified in the United States Code can be found in United States Statutes at Large.
Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statutory or administrative law is enacted after its final approval. In some jurisdictions, this additional step is necessary before the law can take effect.
The 3rd United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 4, 1793, to March 4, 1795, during the fifth and sixth years of George Washington's presidency.
The 5th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1799, during the first two years of John Adams' presidency.
The 7th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1803, during the first two years of Thomas Jefferson's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the First Census of the United States in 1790. Both chambers had a Democratic-Republican majority, except during the Special session of the Senate, when there was a Federalist majority in the Senate.
The United States Statutes at Large, commonly referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat., are an official record of Acts of Congress and concurrent resolutions passed by the United States Congress. Each act and resolution of Congress is originally published as a slip law, which is classified as either public law or private law (Pvt.L.), and designated and numbered accordingly. At the end of a Congressional session, the statutes enacted during that session are compiled into bound books, known as "session law" publications. The session law publication for U.S. Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large. In that publication, the public laws and private laws are numbered and organized in chronological order. U.S. Federal statutes are published in a three-part process, consisting of slip laws, session laws, and codification.
The 38th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1863, to March 4, 1865, during the last two years of the first administration of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eighth Census of the United States in 1860. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House of Representatives had a Republican plurality.
The 39th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1865, to March 4, 1867, during the first month of Abraham Lincoln's fifth year as president, and the first two years of the administration of his successor, U.S. President Andrew Johnson.
The 37th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1861, to March 4, 1863, during the first two years of Abraham Lincoln's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Seventh Census of the United States in 1850. Both chambers had a Republican majority.
The 41st United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1869, to March 4, 1871, during the first two years of Ulysses S. Grant's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eighth Census of the United States in 1860. Both chambers had a Republican majority.
The Revised Statutes of the United States was the first official codification of the Acts of Congress. It was enacted into law in 1874. The purpose of the Revised Statutes was to make it easier to research federal law without needing to consult the individual Acts of Congress published in the United States Statutes at Large.
The Habeas Corpus Act of 1867 is an act of Congress that significantly expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts to issue writs of habeas corpus. Passed February 5, 1867, the Act amended the Judiciary Act of 1789 to grant the courts the power to issue writs of habeas corpus "in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the constitution, or any treaty or law of the United States." Prior to the Act's passage, prisoners in the custody of one of the states who wished to challenge the legality of their detention could petition for a writ of habeas corpus only in state courts; the federal court system was barred from issuing writs of habeas corpus in their cases. The Act also permitted the court "to go beyond the return" and question the truth of the jailer's stated justification for detaining the petitioning prisoner, whereas prior to the Act courts were technically bound to accept the jailer's word that the prisoner was actually being held for the reason stated. The Act largely restored habeas corpus following its 1863 suspension by Congress, ensuring that anyone arrested after its passage could challenge their detention in the federal courts, but denied habeas relief to anyone who was already in military custody for any military offense or for having aided the Confederacy.
The Jurisdiction and Removal Act of 1875 was an Act passed by the United States Congress in 1875, extending the jurisdiction of federal circuit courts as against that of the State courts.
The Crimes Act of 1790, formally titled An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States, defined some of the first federal crimes in the United States and expanded on the criminal procedure provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The Crimes Act was a "comprehensive statute defining an impressive variety of federal crimes".
The Crimes Act of 1825, formally titled An Act more effectually to provide for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, and for other purposes, was the first piece of omnibus federal criminal legislation since the Crimes Act of 1790. In general, the 1825 act provided more punishment than the 1790 act. The maximum authorized sentence of imprisonment was increased from 7 to 10 years; the maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000. But, the punishments of stripes and pillory were not provided for.
The law of Virginia consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, regulatory, case law, and local law. The Code of Virginia forms the general statutory law.
In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and secondary legislation, the latter also called delegated legislation or subordinate legislation, are two forms of law, created respectively by the legislative and executive branches of government. Primary legislation generally consists of statutes, also known as 'acts', that set out broad outlines and principles, but delegate specific authority to an executive branch to make more specific laws under the aegis of the principal act. The executive branch can then issue secondary legislation, creating legally enforceable regulations and the procedures for implementing them.
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