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United States Government Documents: The Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts.

Lynn Thitchener, Government Selector

Regulations : Overview

Online Sources ~ Print Sources ~ Regulation history

Agencies propose new regulations, open them for comment, and publish "Final Rules" in the Federal Register (FR).

Regulations (Final Rules) are compiled and codified (systematically organized) under "Titles" in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

A Guide to the Rule-Making Process

Regulations : Online Sources

Regulations : Print Sources

Date Source
1936 - 2010 Federal Register
Latest edition, only
Note: Titles of the CFR are published every 5 years on a rotating basis.
Code of Federal Regulations

 

Researching the History of a Regulation

Manual Steps:

Agencies propose new regulations, open them for comment, and publish "Final Rules" in the Federal Register (FR).
Regulations (Final Rules) are compiled and codified (systematically organized) under "Titles" in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

1. Locate the regulation in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

via LexisNexis Academic

--Select "Search By Content Type" -->Legal -->Federal Statutes and Regulations

via Hein Online (1938 - latest)
--Scroll down to find the Federal Register Library.
--Select the Advanced Search link.
--Select the Code of Federal Regulations

2. Trace the footnote citations to the Federal Register/Final Rule.

3.  In the Federal Register, look for the Supplementary Information published under the final rule.
This is where you will find a history of the legislation behind the regulation, and a summary of the comments that were made during the open comment period, along with the agency's response to those comments.

Federal Register via Hein Online 1936-2015)
--Scroll down to find the Federal Register Library.
--Select the Advanced Search link.
--Select the Federal Register

4. If desired, use the footnote citation in the Federal Register to find the Statute that authorized the agency to propose/implement rules to meet the general requirements of the law.

Statutes at Large via Hein Online. 
-- Scroll down the left-hand menu to find "United States Statutes-at-Large."