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Ohio University Libraries

Legal Resources

A research guide to the major Ohio University Libraries' resources for legal and legislative topics.

Statutory, Case & Administrative Law

Majesty of Law Rayburn.

There are three types of law in the US:   

  • Statutory law includes the bills passed by federal and state legislators.  

    • The U.S. Code is a topical arrangement of all of the federal laws currently in force.  All states also publish codified laws. 

  • Case law refers to opinions issued by the courts. 

    • These opinions have the force of law.  

  • Administrative or regulatory law refers to the rules issued by the executive branches of the government.

    • e.g. the federal or state EPA.  The administrative law of U.S. federal government is compiled in the Code of Federal Regulations (or the C.F.R.); for Ohio, it is the Ohio Administrative Code.

First, Google It!

Yes, a librarian is telling you to Google it....  

The text of bills and laws at every level are increasingly available free online from the governmental bodies that create them.
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If that doesn't do it, there are lots of other places to go looking, which you will find attached to this guide. 

Confusing things to watch out for:  

  • What you are looking is a little piece of something much bigger
  • The piece you are researching was never made it into law
  • The popular name or the number it is assigned changes as it goes through legislative action 
  • It is (or is not) the target of a media campaign, disinformation strike, Reddit meme, etc. 
  • Multi-session efforts to get the same law passed
  • The bill passes as a rider on something that has nothing to do with its topic

Lexis Uni: Look Here Next