Many in the Freedom Movement who are interested in legal arguments too often rely on self-proclaimed “gurus” because of the lack of access to fundamental legal sources. At times, arguments asserted by these gurus (if the argument is not just completely fabricated) cite particular legislative acts for amazing propositions that are readily believed by those who don’t know differently. For example, the “redemptionists” claimed that the 1935 Social Security Act set aside approximately 600,000 bux “on the private side” for everyone having a social security account. But a reading of the act itself reveals this contention to be just another (of the great many) lies of the gurus, who intentionally (like their employer) deceive the masses. In the past, a guru speaking on the weekend seminar circuit alleged that the International Sovereign Immunities Act placed all government offices under the UN. Proof that this is just another big lie promoted by deceptive gurus is proven by simply reading the act itself.
Of course, the United States Constitution is a primary source of federal legal authority. Another primary source of legal authority is the U.S. Statutes at Large. After ratification of the U.S. Constitution, Congress started meeting in Philadelphia and enacting federal laws. Acts adopted by Congress are presented to the President for signing, and thereafter delivered to the State Department for archival purposes. For the first 50 years of this country’s existence, these federal laws were published and made available to the public by a publishing firm named Bioren and Duane as well as Justice Story. In the early 1840s, Justice Story spearheaded a project to republished these Congressional acts in an official publication, and Congress agreed in 1845. By 1848, another law publishing company, Little and Brown from Boston, published the first official U.S. Statutes at Large, and today this publication constitutes the official source for acts of Congress. Starting in 1875 and continuing ever since, actual printing of the U.S. Statutes at Large has been performed by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
Today on the Net, large portions of these U.S. Statutes at Large can be read and downloaded on this official government website and this one. But the entire U.S. Statutes at Large appear nowhere on the Net. Years ago, I converted the Statutes at Large to searchable text and requested Jon Roland to post the same on his Constitution Society website. The volumes of the Statutes at Large are linked below:
Finding a specific act of Congress is easy. For example, a student might run across a reference to the Legal Tender Act of 1862, 12 Stat. 345. To find this act with its citation,one would simply pull Volume 12 of the U.S. Statutes at Large, and turn to page 345. The first number, in this example, 12, is the volume number and the second number, 345, is the page number in that volume.
In 1926 pursuant to a Congressional act, the United States Code was created. Please see this article, Titles of the U.S. Code, for an explanation of how this Code was created. The first U.S.Code was published in a single volume at Vol. 44, part 1.
Daily issues of the Federal Register may be downloaded here.
Do you have trouble finding good state constitutions and codes posted on the Net? Here they are:State Codes: