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Citing Government/Legal Information

Contents

The types of publications are in the following order below.

Executive Agencies

Laws & the Constitution

Congressional Publications

Regulations

Court Cases

Web Pages (including databases)

Executive Agencies

Format:
Author or Agency. (year). Title of report: Subtitle of report if applicable [in italics] (Report No.). URL

Individual author(s)

In-Text:
(Presser & Luoma, 2006)

Reference List:
Presser, T.S., and Luoma, S.N. (2006). Forecasting selenium discharges to the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary: ecological effects of a proposed San Luis drain extension (Professional Paper No 1646). https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1646/pdf/pp1646.pdf


Agency 

In-Text:
(U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)

Reference List:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). 3 key steps to take while you wait for your COVID-19 test result (CS 318271-A 07/21/2020. https://permanent.fdlp.gov /websites/www.cdc.gov/2020-2/www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/php/318271-A_FS_KeyStepsWhenWaitingForCOVID-19Results_3.pdf

Laws & the Constitution

United States Code (Subject arrangement of current laws)
Format:
Law title, Title number Code abbreviation section number(s) (year).

In-Text:
(Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 2016)

Reference List: 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. http://www.lnctips.com/images/sectiongray.png 794 (2016).  https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=%2229+U.S.C.++794%22&
 f=treesort&fq=true&num=7&hl=true&edition=prelim&granuleId=USC-prelim-title29-section794
[You can use sec. or section in place of the section symbol http://www.lnctips.com/images/sectiongray.png] [There are different versions of the United States Code, USC. For WESTLAW it is U.S.C.A.]

 

Statutes at Large (Chronological publishing of laws)
Format:
Name of the Statute, Title number Source § Section number(s) (Year).

In-Text:
(Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009, 2009)

Reference List:
Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2009, 123 Stats.1436 (2009). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/
STATUTE-123/pdf/STATUTE-123.pdf
 

Constitution
Article
Format:

U.S. Const. art. number, § number.

In-Text:
(U.S Const. art. III, § 2)

Reference List:

U.S Const. art. III, § 2.

Amendment
Format:

U.S. Const. amend. number.

In-Text:
(U.S. Const. amend. 1)

Reference List:
U.S. Const. amend. 1.

Congressional Publications

Congressional Bills
Format:
Title, Bill or Resolution Number, Number of Congress Cong., Number of Session Sess. (Year).

In-Text:
(National Global Warming Policy Act, 1989)

Reference List:
National Global Warming Policy Act, Senate Joint Resolution 88, 101st Cong.,1st Sess. (1989). https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/
senate-joint-resolution/88?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22climate+change%22%5D%7D&s=2&r=44

Congressional Publications (hearings, House & Senate Reports & Documents, & committee prints)
Format:
(whole publication)

Title of hearing, numberCong. (Year). URL
[The hearing title can include the committee and/or subcommittee name; e.g. Global climate change and the U.S. climate action report: hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate]

(citing testimony)
Title of testimony, number Cong. (Year) (testimony of Testifier Name). URL
[Cong. is the abbreviation for Congress; e.g. 110th Cong. is the one hundredth and tenth Congress]

In-Text:

(Reexamination of U.S. China Relations,1999)

Reference List: (whole publication)

Reexamination of U.S. China Relations, (S. Hrg. 106-232) 106 Cong. 1st sess. (1999) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-106shrg
55888/pdf/CHRG-106shrg55888.pdf
          

Reference List: (citing testimony: include the page number before the date)

Reexamination of U.S. China Relations, (S. Hrg. 106-232) 106 Cong. 1st sess. 107 (1999) (testimony Gerrit Gong) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-106shrg55888/pdf/CHRG-106shrg55888.pdf

Regulations

Code of Federal Regulations (current regulations organized by subject)

Format:
Title of regulation, Title number Code abbreviation § section number(s) (Year).

In-Text:
(Nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance, 2019)

Reference List:
Nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance, 34 C.F.R part 104.1 (2019).  
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2019-title34-vol1/pdf/CFR-2019-title34-vol1-part104.pdf

        
Federal Register
(chronological publishing of regulations)
Format: 
Title of regulation, Title abbreviation & page number(s) (Year).

In-Text: 
(Drinking Water: Final Action on Perchlorate, 2020)

Reference List:
Drinking Water: Final Action on Perchlorate, 85 F.R. 43990 (2020). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-07-21/pdf/2020-13462.pdfx     

Court Cases

Format:  
Name v. Name. Volume number Reporter Abbreviation page number. (Year).
[URLs are optional for court cases]


U.S. Supreme Court

In-Text:
(Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission, 2009)

Reference List:
Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission. 130 S.Ct. 876 (2009). 

Supreme Court Briefs (attorney's arguments; only available for the highest court; to obtain for the Court of Appeals or District Court cases, you would need to contact the court's clerk)

Format:
Document name, case citation (docket number), commercial database identifier (if you accessed the brief through WESTLAW)

In-Text:
(Brief for Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission, 2009)

Reference List:
Brief for Citizens United, Appellant, v Federal Elections Commission, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2009) (no 08-205). 
 

Court of Appeals

In-Text:
(Lopez v Smith, 2000)

Reference List:
Lopez v Smith. 203 F.3d 1122 (2000).
 

District Courts
In-Text:
(National Association of Gun Rights v City of San Jose, 2022).

Reference List:

National Association of Gun Rights v City of San Jose. 618 F.Supp.3d 901 (2022). 
 

WESTLAW (only published court cases)

In-Text:
(United States v. Washington, 2018).

Reference List:

United States v. Washington 2018. WL 4181502 (2018).

Web Pages (including databases)

Format:
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date). Title of page. Source. URL

In-Text:
(Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, 2022).

Reference List:
Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis. (2023). Unemployment Rate - Job Losers (U-2). Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/U2RATE

In-Text:
(Agricultural Research Service)

Reference List:
Agricultural Research Service. (n.d.) FoodData Central. Agricultural Research Service. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html

Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 11:06 AM