Administrative Law

Administrative Law Research:
Federal Register and
Code of Federal
Trisha Simonds
Fall 2008
Administrative Powers
Many laws enacted by Congress require
agencies to issue regulations which are
published through the Federal Register
and the Code of Federal Regulations
Federal Register
Provides official notice; published
every weekday, except holidays,
about 60,000 pages per year
Citation in FR looks like:
• 68 FR 58367
• This means “volume 68” beginning on
“page 58367”
• A new volume begins each year in January.
• Pages are numbered consecutively
throughout the calendar year from January
1 to December 31.
FR includes
Proposed rules
Final rules & regulations
Notices from agencies
Presidential documents
Sunshine Act meetings
• Notices are documents other than rules
and regulations that are applicable to the
• They are not codified in the CFR.
• Examples: grant application deadlines,
availability of environmental impact
statements, delegation of authority.
The Beginning of the Process
• Agencies propose new regulations and
publish them in the Federal Register
• Public comment is invited
• Final language is published in the FR
Proposed Rule
• Name of Agency
•CFR Title and Parts
•Brief description of
subject (bolded)
•Summary (why
•Date (deadline to
•Supplementary info
(explanatory documents)
Final Rule
Name of agency or sub-agency
CFR title and parts affected
Type of action, i.e., Final Rule
Effective date
Background and summary of
Section-by-Section Analysis
FR Unified Agenda
AKA, the Semiannual Regulatory
Published in April and October
Important organizing tool for
agencies and attorneys
Summarizes rules and proposed
rules that each agency expects to
issue during the following twelve
FR Table of Contents
• Arranged alphabetically by agency name
• Covers all documents in one daily issue
• Under each agency documents are
arranged by type—Rules, Proposed
Rules, Notices
• Beginning page number
Federal Register Index
• Separate monthly publication
• Consolidation of the Tables of Contents
of each daily Federal Register issues
• Arranged the same as the daily Table of
Contents, alphabetically by agency, with
beginning page number
Code of Federal Regulations
• After publication as a Final
Rule in FR, regulations are
codified in the annual CFR
• Has 50 titles representing
broad subject areas
• Each title is further divided
by chapter (usually the
name of the issuing
agency), part, and section
Citation in the CFR looks like
42 CFR 64
This means “title 42, part 64”
42 CFR 220.1
This means “title 42, part 220,
section 1”
CFR Indexing
• Revised annually on January 1
• Subject/agency index
• List of agency-prepared indexes
appearing in individual CFR volumes
Revision schedule for CFR
Titles 1-16 revised as of January 1
Titles 17-27 revised as of April 1
Titles 28-41 revised as of July 1
Titles 42-50 revised as of October 1
Revision date is printed on the cover of
each volume. Each year is a different
GPO Access
Usually updated faster than the print FR
FR 1994-date with PDF 1995-date
CFR with PDF 1997-date
Unified Agenda 1994-date
New FR website
• Designed to be citizen friendly to
encourage comments on proposed
regulations from ordinary citizens
• Implemented by the Bush Administration
in January 2003
Lexis and Westlaw
• Both have FR July 1, 1980-date
• Lexis has CFR 1981-date
• Westlaw has CFR 1984-date
Hein Online
FR 1936 - July 2008 in PDF
CFR 1938 – 2008 in PDF
Browse capability
Citation retrieval capability
Word search capability of unedited
optically scanned text
• Any questions?
• Thank you for attending!

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