The United States Code, Prima Facie Evidence, and Positive Law

Law Library Journal, Vol. 101, No. 4, pp. 545-556, 2009

12 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2009  

Mary Whisner

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

As a practical matter, most legal researchers rely on the United States Code (or an annotated code) rather than the United States Statutes at Large. And yet the sections of the U.S.C. are not the laws that Congress enacted and the President signed.

This paper discusses several topics related to the United States Code: (1) Circumstances when courts turn to Stat. over U.S.C. (2) The history leading to the first edition of the U.S.C. in 1926 and the decision that it would be only prima facie evidence of the laws. (3) The progress in enacting titles as positive law, beginning in 1941 -- and the new titles that are in the works.

Keywords: United States Code, Statutes at Large, statutes, codification, codes, statutory interpretation, legal history, legal research

Suggested Citation

Whisner, Mary, The United States Code, Prima Facie Evidence, and Positive Law (December 1, 2009). Law Library Journal, Vol. 101, No. 4, pp. 545-556, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1517999 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1517999

Mary Whisner (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

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