June 3, 2010
Considerable interest has been shown lately for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If you did not know the Public Law number (U.S.-P.L. 111-5), you can find the Act using the USCA Popular Name Table on Westlaw. The database is USCA-POP and the search is ti(“AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT”). The list of initial sections of the law that appears is only those sections newly enacted by that Public Law. As is stated at the bottom of the list, for all sections affected by the particular Public Law,” see Pub.L. [Sec. Number] in the USCA-TABLES database and the enacting credit set out below.”
What happens if the section of Public Law 111-5 does not appear on these lists? You can run a search in the USCA database with the important terms of the section to see if those terms appear anywhere in the United States Code. What happens when some of the sections of this Public Law are not codified in the United States Code?
“Though the appearance of a provision in the current edition of the United States Code is “prima facie” evidence that the provision has the force of law, 1 U.S.C. § 204(a), it is the Statutes at Large that provides the “legal evidence of laws,” § 112, and despite its omission from the Code section …. remains on the books if the Statutes at Large so dictates. FN3 Cf. United States v. Welden, 377 U.S. 95, 98, n. 4, 84 S.Ct. 1082, 1085, n. 4, 12 L.Ed.2d 152 (1964); Stephan v. United States, 319 U.S. 423, 426, 63 S.Ct. 1135, 1135-1136, 87 L.Ed. 1490 (1943) ( per curiam ).”