Searching in Legislative History

May 3, 2010


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Throughout the Summer, we’ll be breaking down one of the most challenging research challenges: legislative history.  We take a lot of calls on this.  Even the most experienced attorneys have a difficult time researching legislative history.  Tracking down the committee reports, conference reports and bill drafts is hard.  First tip: the credit field on a statute presents the entire history of the statute in one area.  By looking through the credit field, researchers can see when the statute was initially passed and how many times it was modified over the years.  This simplifies the research process because the researcher knows what time frame he or she should be searching through to find relevant reports and materials.

See for example, 15 USCA § 1057:

click to enlarge

How many U.S. statutes were amended so far in 2010? Try:

Database: usca

Query: cr(2010)