Cool Database of the Month:
HeinOnline U.S. Code & Session Laws Library
If you’ve taken our advice and fallen in love with HeinOnline’s collection of law journals, you may want to check out two other useful databases within the HeinOnline multiverse: The United States Code (U.S.C.) and the Session Laws Libraries.
Since the Bluebook wants you to cite to the official U.S.C., when possible, it is essential to know how to access it. While the current U.S.C. is widely available online, it can be difficult to access previous versions – essential when conducting historical research. HeinOnline is handy because it carries every version of the U.S.C., as printed (very helpful when your journal editor wants you to look at the page in print), since it was first published in 1925. You can do full-text searching, search by title and section, or, when sleep eludes you and you’ve run out of sheep, browse the scanned PDF images of each individual page. You can also access a wide array of earlier attempts to organize and codify federal laws dating as far back as Congress has been legislating.
The U.S.C., though, is not the be-all and end-all of statutory law. Sometimes you’ll need to find Congress’s session law(s) that enacted the Code section for which you’re looking. Congress’s laws are compiled into yearly volumes of Statutes at Large. These are accessed through HeinOnline’s Session Laws Library.
HeinOnline’s Session Laws Library doesn’t just cover all the acts of Congress. HeinOnline has session laws for all 50 states, Guam, the District of Columbia Register, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. HeinOnline’s Session Laws and U.S.C. libraries are powerful tools to help you get your work done. Try them.