This week, we’re traveling into the heart of law making darkness to find truth in edits, floor speeches, related laws, court decisions, and press scandal. I’ve written about getting a legislative history started when you’re not sure where to look, bill tracking under special circumstances like when a hold has been placed on a bill in Senate, and the U.S. Statutes at Large. Now, I want to talk about tracking down little known resources, free law and open access, and using non-law stuff to get a complete picture of a law’s place in history. Let’s parliament!
My favorite thing about the coming new year isn’t the chance to start again, but rather the chance to look back. I love lists! (Is anyone surprised?) So, without identifying the folks who asked in any way, here are my favorite questions from the past year:
5. How many laws are there?
(Answer: Well, it depends on how you want to count them. For example, is the Constitution one law, or is it 11, or 27?)
4. Can you tell me where [incorrectly spelled and poorly used Shari'a legal term] is located in the health care bill?
(Answer: I searched for the word on THOMAS and didn’t find anything. Do you mean [this term]? If so, [here is a link to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World] and don’t worry: that can’t happen.)
3. Can I serve in two or more local government positions at the same time in my small town without getting sued?
(Answer: Wow! Your local government website is amazing. Here are the bylaws of your town.)
2. What is the President of the United States’ phone number?
And by far the cutest of the year:
1. Can you tell me something that not many people know about the Bill of Rights for my school project?
Can’t wait to see what next year brings. Happy New Year to all!
Follow the link to get there, not the picture…
For those originalists among us (I say that like Antonin reads my blog… or uses a computer), they also have the Articles of Confederation:
Happy Constitution Day!