Tip of the Week: Locating the Statutory Authority of a Regulation

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Federal Register, Tip of the Week, Tips and Tricks, U.S. Code
Lauren Mattiuzzo

Congress often times will pass a statute and then grant an administrative body or agency the authority to issue rules and regulations based on that law. Users can locate such federal rules and regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations database. In today’s Tip of the Week, we’re going to explore how to locate the statutory authority for a regulation using a CFR citation.

Locating Statutory Authority

Let’s research the rules and regulations regarding investigations when it comes to whistleblower protection for FBI employees. For this example, let’s locate CFR citation 28 CFR 27.3 from the 2016 edition. Enter the Code of Federal Regulations database and use the handy CFR Citation Locator tool. Plug in the revision year, title, part, and section.

The locator tool directs users to the exact part, and provides matching text pages for any instance where the section number is mentioned in the text. Click Turn to page from the results page.

Users are then directed to the exact section.

Now, let’s locate the statutory authority for this regulation. In order to find it, we need to jump back to the beginning of this part. An easy way to do this is to navigate to Part 27 in the table of contents on the left-hand side of the page.

After the section listings in Part 27, locate the word Authority. In this case, multiple U.S. Code citations are referenced as the authority for this regulation. Users can simply click on the hyperlinked citations to read the related statutes.

To learn more about the regulation’s history and origins as it went through the rulemaking process, users can also locate the rule as it appeared in the Federal Register. This citation is conveniently located underneath the Authority citation.


Code of Federal Regulations LibGuide

To learn more about how to navigate and search within the Code of Federal Regulations database, check out our dedicated LibGuide!

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