University of Pittsburgh

U.S. Federal Law

Executive Branch

President, Vice-President, Cabinet
The Library of Congress provides links to all the webpages of the executive office, the Cabinet and its agencies.

The White House
A virtual tour of the White House including links to the people and events inside.

The Code of Federal Regulations
The National Archives provides full text of federal regulations, the laws enacted by agencies of the executive branch.

Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders
The president exercises his authority primarily through the issuance of proclamations and executive orders.

The Federal Register
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

Judicial Branch

Supreme Court of the United States
The official site of the highest court in the land, including the current docket and opinions
U.S. Courts of Appeals
The 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a United States court of appeals. A court of appeals hears appeals from the district courts located within its circuit, as well as appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies.

  • Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)
  • Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (CT, NY, VT)
  • Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit  (Pennsylvania, DE, NJ, US Virgin Islands)
  • Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Washington DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, W. V)
  • Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)
  • Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee)
  • Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin)
  • Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)
  • Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington)
  • Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming)
  • Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
  • United States Circuit Courts
    The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. The district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States -- the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands -- have district courts that hear federal cases, including bankruptcy cases.

    United States Bankruptcy Courts
    Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts, or by creating a repayment plan.

    U.S. Tax Court
    Congress has created several Article I or legislative courts that do not have full judicial power. The Tax Court provides a judicial forum in which affected persons can dispute tax deficiencies determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue prior to payment of the disputed amounts. The jurisdiction of the Tax Court includes the authority to hear tax disputes concerning notices of deficiency, notices of transferee liability, certain types of declaratory judgment, readjustment and adjustment of partnership items, review of the failure to abate interest, administrative costs, worker classification, relief from joint and several liability on a joint return, and review of certain collection actions.

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
    Congress has created several Article I or legislative courts that do not have full judicial power. The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces exercises worldwide appellate jurisdiction over members of the armed forces on active duty and other persons subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The Court is composed of five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
    U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans
    Congress has created several Article I or legislative courts that do not have full judicial power. The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant's claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness.

    Legislative Branch

    The United States Congress
    Congress is the lawmaking body of the U.S. government, and is made up of 2 parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The Library of Congress website has a comprehensive website with links to everything Congress.
    The Library of Congress's Thomas website is the official website created when the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. The Thomas website contains legislative information including:

  • Bills, Resolutions
  • Activity in Congress
  • Congressional Record
  • Schedules, Calendars
  • Committee Information
  • Presidential Nominations
  • Treaties
  • Government Resources The Washington Post has a website that allows you to browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.
  • Current Legislative and Regulatory Activity(PDF) is a publication issued weekly when Congress is in session - concerns banking, finance, economic policy, and federal government operations and personnel policies. 
  • The U.S. Code
    Legislation passed by Congress and approved by the President becomes law and is then consolidated and codified by subject matter in the U.S. Code. The official version of the U.S. Code is on the website of the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, but a more user-friendly version of the U.S. Code has been created online by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell University Law School.

    Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC