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Federal Administrative Law Research Guide: Home

Resources for researching federal Administrative Law.

Guide Overview

The U.S. Executive Branch

The three branches of the federal government each create law in different ways.  The Legislative branch creates statutory law.  The Judicial branch creates law through precedential case law.  The Executive branch creates law though regulations and decisions of administrative agencies. This guide outlines how to locate and update Federal regulations administered through the Executive Branch. 

Regulations v. Statutes

As a general rule, regulations are different from statutes: regulations are enacted by administrative agencies, while statutes are enacted by the legislature (or by voter initiative). The authority to adopt, amend, and repeal regulations is granted to an agency by either constitutional provision or statute. When exercising this authority, agencies must follow the procedures set forth in the Federal Administrative Procedure Act. Some agencies have established administrative tribunals that adjudicate certain disputes.

Executive Branch Publications

The Federal Register is the Daily Journal of the United States government. It compiles notices, proposed rules, final rules, presidential documents and other materials published by Federal agencies.

The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.

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