The following sample searches are provided as guides to general types of searches in the U.S. Code databases. They are performed in supplement 2 to the U.S. Code for 1994. For the sake of space, only the top three hits in each results list are included with each example below.
Whenever you enter a query, make sure that you deselect any default settings that may interfere with your search. The U.S. Code search page automatically defaults to the original U.S. Code database for 1994.
This type of search returns sections of the U.S. Code based on U.S. Code citations. A U.S. Code citation includes a title number, the abbreviation "USC," and a section number. The use of truncation in a query returns subsections, as well as full sections.
This type of search returns legislative information based on a popular name in the U.S. Code. If you know the popular name of law, you may use this type of search to find its U.S. Code citation, public law number, and Statutes at Large citation. For the best results, your query should include the phrase "popular name" in quotation marks and a keyword from the popular name of the law.
This type of search returns sections of the U.S. Code based on public law numbers. The public law numbers may appear anywhere within the document, including the header and the body of the text. This type of search also retrieves the popular-names entry that references a given public law number. The correct abbreviation for "public law" in the U.S. Code databases is "pub. l."; it may also be written without punctuation as "pub l". The entire query should be enclosed in quotation marks for the most accurate results.
This type of search returns sections of the U.S. Code based on Statutes at Large citations. It also retrieves the popular-names entry that references a given Statutes at Large citation. A Statutes at Large citation includes a volume number, the abbreviation "stat," and the number of a session law as assigned in the Statutes at Large. Volumes 109 and 110 of the Statutes at Large contain the laws from the 104th Congress, volumes 111 and 112 contain the laws from the 105th Congress, and so on. The entire query should be enclosed in quotation marks for the most accurate results.
When a section of the U.S. Code is affected by a law passed after a supplement's revision date, the header for that section includes a note that identifies the public law affecting it. In order to find the updated information, you must search the public laws databases for the referenced public-law number.
For example, the header for "2USC Sec. 661c. Budgetary treatment" in supplement 2 of the U.S. Code indicates that the section was "affected by Public Law 105-33 Section 10117(b)." To view the text that affected this U.S. Code section, you would perform a search in the public laws database for the 105th Congress, using the query "public law 105-33". After you retrieve the document "Pub.L. 105-33 To provide for reconciliation pursuant to subsections (b)(1) and (c) of section 105 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1998," you would look for section 10117(b).
In the list that displays your query results, the title of each U.S. Code document is preceded by an identification code. The identification code consists of a U.S. Code citation, which contains a title number, the database abbreviation "USC," and a section number. For example, in the listing "17USC Sec. 305. Duration of copyright: Terminal date," 17 is the title number, "USC" stands for United States Code, "Sec. 305" is the section number, and "Duration of copyright: Terminal date" is the title. A section number may indicate a subsection, as in the citation "7USC Sec. 511a."