NEW Print Edition of Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories is now available!

Content News, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Lauren Mattiuzzo

It has been four years since a new edition was published for this essential tool used for legislative history research! Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories: A Bibliography of Government Documents, Periodical Articles, and Books, 1st Congress–114th Congress, Fourth Edition was compiled by new editors and includes more than 3,300 laws and nearly 7,800 bibliographic records! This book is easy to use and is perfect for librarians, attorneys, government employees, students, and researchers.

About The New Edition

A legislative history is the collection of documents produced in Congress during the enactment of a law…

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Legislative Intent and Statutory Interpretation

Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Lauren Mattiuzzo

In cases that involve a statute, there is often a need for statutory interpretation. Some statutes can have straightforward meanings, while others can be ambiguous. In cases where a statute may be vague, judges must step in to decipher the legislative intent.

Statutory Interpretation

The language is the most important part of a statute. If the language itself is straightforward and plain, it must be applied according to its terms. However, if a statute is unclear, the interpretative process begins. Read about this process in the CRS Report…

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Food and Drug Law

Food and Drug Law, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Benjamin Boron

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Civilization has long been concerned with the quality and safety of foods and medicines. Up until the late 20th century, there were few laws regulating the ingredients of food products or the misrepresentation of medicinal substances.

On June 30, 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act which was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt and was a key piece of Progressive Era legislation. This was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws enacted by Congress in the 20th century that eventually led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

The Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the United States and is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by ensuring the safety…

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Bonnie Hein

Yesterday, the United States observed the holiday which marks Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Did you know?

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia with the original birth name of Michael King. His father was also named Michael King and later changed both his own and his son's name after a trip to Germany. The name Martin Luther was chosen in honor of the German religious reformer from the 1500s.

About Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.  He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights through nonviolent disobedience and for protesting racial discrimination in federal and state laws…

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Fact-Check to Avoid Spreading Fake News

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

Fake News: Then and Now

In 1938, Orson Welles directed and narrated an episode of The Mercury Theatre on the Air that allegedly resulted in mass panic, as many listeners mistakenly thought the episode was a legitimate news broadcast. Titled "The War of the Worlds," the broadcast was composed of a series of simulated news bulletins about an alien invasion. It is hypothesized that people who tuned into the broadcast after its introduction, in which it was stated that program was a fictitious drama, believed the broadcast to be actual news, leading to phone calls to the radio station and panic. The degree to which the panic was widespread may have been overstated and is now a topic of debate among historians. 

Nearly 80 years later…

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Mandatory Overtime Pay

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Exploring HeinOnline, FAQ, Federal Register, Government Documents, Hein Blog, Navigating, ScholarCheck, Searching, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Bonnie Hein

On November 22, 2016, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III issued a preliminary injunction denying the U.S. Department of Labor's new regulation to extend mandatory overtime pay. Under the  regulation, workers who earn less than $47,476 per year and work more than 40 hours per week would have received mandatory overtime pay beginning December 1, 2016.

The Department of Labor's new guidelines applied to an estimated 4.2 million workers and would have doubled the maximum salary workers were allowed to earn and still be eligible for overtime pay, previously updated in 2004.

In anticipation of the December 1st deadline, many businesses have already increased salaries for employees who fall into this category in order to avoid paying the mandatory overtime…

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Two New Titles Added To the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library is a research powerhouse containing more than 2,400 titles and covering all major public laws. Documents contained in legislative histories include various bill versions, House reports, Senate reports, congressional hearings, the full text of the final public law, and more. Researchers use these documents to clarify ambiguous statutory language and to determine legislative intent behind all or portions of a public law.

This month, we've added two significant compiled legislative histories dealing with extremely relevant topics: cybersecurity and tax hikes. Both legislative histories were compiled by William H. Manz. Manz is an attorney and adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School in Jamaica, New York, where he previously held the position of Senior Research Librarian…

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No Money, More Problems: Healthcare in the United States

Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Sabo

With the recent news that "Obamacare" health insurance premiums are set to rise an average of 22% next year, the healthcare crisis in the U.S. has once again come to the attention of the taxpaying public.

Officials cite the following reasons for the price increase:

  • Fewer insurers willing to participate in the public healthcare market
  • Not enough "healthy" people signed up for insurance
  • Those who signed up for insurance are sicker than the industry predicted

Although federal subsidies should help most Americans pay for this increase, the central issues surrounding the cost of medical care and the health insurance industry are problems which remain unsolved. This informative article from the nonpartisan group commonwealthfund.org provides an excellent comparison of healthcare in industrialized nations worldwide…

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Voting in America

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Sabo

Four debates down, one election to go! Televisions, computers, and mobile devices in the United States have been taken over by the presidential election for more than a year. Back in June, this blog post encouraged readers to step away from the current political climate to study the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Take another break and check out a few key historical amendments and public laws related to voting in the United States.

Important Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated is an excellent resource for all types of constitutional research. It contains constitutions and constitutional histories of all countries of the world…

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Research Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Sabo

It's nearly impossible to turn on the news in the United States without learning of a new mass shooting or other deadly incident involving guns. After each incident, the debate over gun control is reignited, with one side calling for stricter regulation of gun sales and ownership and the other side arguing that any type of such restrictions violate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Regardless of your position on this controversial issue, start your research in HeinOnline. The entire text of the current United States Constitution is available in the World Constitutions Illustrated library, which also contains constitutions and constitutional histories for all countries of the world…

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