Federal regulations are rules created by agencies, boards, or commissions that carry the force of law. This research guide contains basic information on tracking the origins and history of federal rules.
Executive Orders are orders produced by the President, as head of the executive branch, that are “generally directed to, and govern actions by, Government officials and agencies." These Executive Orders can have the force of law, even if they do not follow the same procedure as bills passed by Congress.
Presidential directives, such as proclamations and executive orders, are a tool used by Presidents to announce official policy and make declarations in their roles as leader of the executive branch, commander in chief of the Armed Forces, and head of state.
The United States has parallel court systems, one at the federal level, and another at the state level. Both systems are divided into trial courts and appellate courts. Generally, trial courts determine the relevant facts of a dispute and apply law to these facts, while appellate courts review trial court decisions to ensure the law was applied correctly.
This research guide from the Law Library of Congress provides guidance on how to how to find briefs, oral argument transcripts, and docket information for cases considered by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration.
The daily order of business on the floor of the House of Representatives is governed by standing rules that make certain matters and actions privileged for consideration. On a day-to-day basis, however, the House can also decide to grant individual bills privileged access to the floor, using one of several parliamentary mechanisms.
The legislative process on the Senate floor is governed by a set of standing rules, a body of precedents created by rulings of presiding officers or by votes of the Senate, a variety of established and customary practices, and ad hoc arrangements the Senate makes to meet specific parliamentary and political circumstances.