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Federal Legislative History: Public Laws

Citation Format

PL 97-101

97, the first part of the citation for a public law is the session of Congress, not the year. 

101, The second part of the citation for a public law is the sequential order for the public law.

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Public laws are the culmination of the legislative process. If a bill becomes a public law, it means that the bill was passed by Congress, and either signed by the President or the President's veto of the bill was overridden by 2/3 majority vote of Congress. Public laws are published in the Statutes at Large.

Locating Public Laws (Print)

Statutes at Large v.1-123 KF50.U58

Locating Public Laws (Online)

FDsys 104th Congress - present Open Access
Constitution Society Statutes at Large, v. 1-126 (1789-2012)  Open Access
Heinonline Statutes at Large, v. 1-123 (1789-2009) Special Restrictions
WestlawNext 1789-1972  (Statutes at Large) Special Restrictions
WestlawNext 1973-2012 (U.S. Public Law - Historical) Special Restrictions


Public Law