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PG 350: Judicial Process and Policy Making: Find Federal Statute Citation Using Popular Name Index

Finding Federal Statutes Using Popular Name via US Code Books

Go to the corresponding United States Code Book in Beeghly: Call No: Ref KF 62 2006 

21 USC sec 301 = Title 21 (vol. 13)


1. At the top of the page, look for the correct title.

2. In the upper left corner of the page, look for the section number. 

3. Find the beginning of the chapter or subchapter for that section. 

4. It should then display a chapter title and citation information


"This chapter may be cited as the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act"

(June 25, 1938, ch. 675, $1, 52 Stat. 1040)



Go to the United States Code Book in Beeghly, Popular Name Tables: Call No: Ref KF 62 2006 v 31-32


1. Find the section, Acts Cited by Popular Name. Acts are listed alphabetically.

2. Once you find the act, it should list the date it became a law (June 25, 1938), chapters or sections of US Code where the statute is incorporated (ch. 675 and 21 USC sec. 301 et al.), the Statutes at Large citation (52 Stat. 1040), and the Public Law number (Pub. L. 75-717).



A Public Law citation is read as follows:

                        75=      Congress number (75th Congress was in 1938)

                        717=    Public Law number




Be sure to cover the following...

1. Overall, what is the purpose of the statute/why was it passed?

2. Controversies about the statute

3. Identify and discuss the part of the statute that gives rise to the controversy before the Supreme Court

What's Being Argued

Careful: Sometimes what's being argued is not a section of the original statue but part of an amendment, etc. to the original that is now part of the current statute. If that's the case, you may have to do extra digging and repeat a few steps to find the part of the statute you need in the US Code and CFR.