Congressional Committee Prints Now on HeinOnline

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Researchers of federal legislative histories take note–HeinOnline has added another piece of the legislative history puzzle to its database, hundreds of U.S. Congressional committee prints. Contained within HeinOnline’s larger U.S. Congressional Documents collection, this subcollection contains over 850 titles and more than 200,000 pages. (Selected committee prints are also available online from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)’s FDsys site.)

Among legislative history research materials, committee prints are lesser known, but can still be useful for statutory interpretation by trying to decipher legislative intent. As FDsys explains, committee prints can contain “draft reports and bills, directories, statistical materials, investigative reports, historical reports, situational studies, confidential staff reports, hearings, and legislative analyses.” In other words, committee prints differ from other legislative history materials because they are made to aid committee members in their work behind the scenes. Committee prints are often not announced for public distribution and don’t exist for the same public reporting function as committee reports and the like. The National Archives puts it more colorfully–“most prints became ‘fugitive’ documents as soon as they were published.”

Because Congress likes to make laws that bind everyone but themselves, procedures for publishing these prints differ by committee. Unfortunately for legislative history researchers, the formatting is not uniform nor is numbering system. (The Senate has a system for numbering its Committee Prints, but the House does not.) Fortunately, HeinOnline’s addition of committee prints provides another avenue for searching and locating the ones on point for legislative history research.

For more assistance with legislative history research generally, please see Tarlton’s Federal Legislative History research guide.

 

Posted in Front Page News, Legal Research

New title at Tarlton about judicial theater

Jon Hall. Cicero’s Use of Judicial Theater. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2014. Read more ›

Posted in Collection Highlights, for Faculty, for Students, New Titles

Monthly List of New Books

Tarlton’s listing of new books added to our collection for October 2014 is now available.

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New title at Tarlton about Kafka and the American Criminal Justice System

Robert P. Burns, Kafka’s Law: The Trial and America Criminal Justice. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014. Read more ›

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Halloween and the Law

Halloween can mean costumes, fun, candy, and lawsuits. Wait, lawsuits? According to a Texas Bar Journal article this month that seems to be the case. Whether you are threatening your neighbors by putting their names on tombstones or lighting your costume on fire, you better know the law. And heaven help you if you end up running scared in a haunted house straight into a brick wall. Then you definhalloweenlawbook-suttonitely need to know the law. (Hint: you probably should have known it was a wall.)

So before you put your costume on or head down to Sixth Street (especially if you head down to Sixth Street) make sure you brush up on the law. A great place to start your first lesson would be with Halloween Law: A Spirited Look at the Law School Curriculum. However you celebrate, we hope you have a safe, fun, and lawsuit-free Halloween!

Posted in for Students

Spring 2015 Course Offerings

The Tarlton Law Library will be offering four different legal research courses for the spring 2015 semester:

These are all short professional skills courses for one pass/fail credit to help prepare you for practice. Read more ›

Posted in for Students, Front Page News

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