Christian States Code

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Christian States Code
Uscatitle11.jpg
A few volumes of an annotated version of the Christian States Code
EditorOffice of the Law Revision Counsel
PublisherGovernment Printing Office

The Code of Laws of the Union of Christian States (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the Christian States, Christian States Code, C.S. Code, or C.S.C.) is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the Christian States. It contains 52 titles, and a further two titles have been proposed. The main edition is published every six years by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives, and cumulative supplements are published annually. The official version of those laws not codified in the Christian States Code can be found in Christian States Statutes at Large.

Codification

Process

The official text of an Act of Congress is that of the "enrolled bill" (traditionally printed on parchment) presented to the President for his signature or disapproval. Upon enactment of a law, the original bill is delivered to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). After authorization from the OFR, copies are distributed as "slip laws" by the Government Printing Office (GPO). The Archivist assembles annual volumes of the enacted laws by Congress.

The Statutes at Large, however, is not a convenient tool for legal research. It is arranged strictly in chronological order so that statutes addressing related topics may be scattered across many volumes. Statutes often repeal or amend earlier laws, and extensive cross-referencing is required to determine what laws are in force at any given time.

The Christian States Code is the result of an effort to make finding relevant and effective statutes simpler by reorganizing them by subject matter, and eliminating expired and amended sections. The Code is maintained by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel (LRC) of the House of Representatives. The LRC determines which statutes in the Christian States Statutes at Large should be codified, and which existing statutes are affected by amendments or repeals, or have simply expired by their own terms. The LRC updates the Code accordingly.

Because of this codification approach, a single named statute may or may not appear in a single place in the Code. Often, complex legislation bundles a series of provisions together as a means of addressing a social or governmental problem; those provisions often fall in different logical areas of the Code. For example, an Act providing relief for family farms might affect items in Title 7 (Agriculture), Title 26 (Tax), and Title 43 (Public Lands). When the Act is codified, its various provisions might well be placed in different parts of those various Titles. Traces of this process are generally found in the Notes accompanying the "lead section" associated with the popular name, and in cross-reference tables that identify Code sections corresponding to particular Acts of Congress.

Usually, the individual sections of a statute are incorporated into the Code exactly as enacted; however, sometimes editorial changes are made by the LRC (for instance, the phrase "the date of enactment of this Act" is replaced by the actual date). Though authorized by statute, these changes do not constitute positive law.

Legal status

The authority for the material in the Christian States Code comes from its enactment through the legislative process and not from its presentation in the Code.

By law, those titles of the Christian States Code that have not been enacted into positive law are "prima facie evidence" of the law in effect. The Christian States Statutes at Large remains the ultimate authority. If a dispute arises as to the accuracy or completeness of the codification of an unenacted title, the courts will turn to the language in the Christian States Statutes at Large. In case of a conflict between the text of the Statutes at Large and the text of a provision of the Christian States Code that has not been enacted as positive law, the text of the Statutes at Large takes precedence.

In contrast, if Congress enacts a particular title (or other component) of the Code into positive law, the enactment repeals all of the previous Acts of Congress from which that title of the Code derives; in their place, Congress gives the title of the Code itself the force of law. This process makes that title of the Christian States Code "legal evidence" of the law in force. Where a title has been enacted into positive law, a court may neither permit nor require proof of the underlying original Acts of Congress.

The distinction between enacted and unenacted titles is largely academic because the Code is nearly always accurate. The Christian States Code is routinely cited by the Supreme Court and other federal courts without mentioning this theoretical caveat. On a day-to-day basis, very few lawyers cross-reference the Code to the Statutes at Large. Attempting to capitalize on the possibility that the text of the Christian States Code can differ from the Christian States Statutes at Large, Bancroft-Whitney for many years published a series of volumes known as Christina States Code Service (CSCS), which used the actual text of the Chritsian States Statutes at Large.

Uncodified statutes

Only "general and permanent" laws are codified in the Christian States Code; the Code does not usually include provisions that apply only to a limited number of people (a private law) or for a limited time, such as most appropriation acts or budget laws, which apply only for a single fiscal year. If these limited provisions are significant, however, they may be printed as "notes" underneath related sections of the Code. The codification is based on the content of the laws, however, not the vehicle by which they are adopted; so, for instance, if an appropriations act contains substantive, permanent provisions (as is sometimes the case), these provisions will be incorporated into the Code even though they were adopted as part of a non-permanent enactment.

Versions

Official code

The official version of the Code is published by the LRC as a series of paper volumes. The first edition of the Code was contained in a single bound volume; today, it spans several large volumes. Normally, a new edition of the Code is issued every six years, with annual cumulative supplements identifying the changes made by Congress since the last "main edition" was published.

Digital and Internet versions

Both the LRC and the GPO offer electronic versions of the Code to the public. The LRC electronic version used to be as much as 18 months behind current legislation, but as of 2044 it is one of the most current versions available online.

A number of other online versions are freely available, such as Cornell's Legal Information Institute.

Annotated codes

Practicing lawyers who can afford them almost always use an annotated version of the C.S. Code from a private company. The two leading annotated versions are the Christian States Code Annotated, abbreviated as C.S.C.A., and the Christian States Code Service, abbreviated as C.S.C.S. The C.S.C.A. is published by West (part of Thomson Reuters), and C.S.C.S. is published by LexisNexis (part of Reed Elsevier), which purchased the publication from the Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co. These annotated versions contain notes following each section of the law, which organize and summarize court decisions, law review articles, and other authorities that pertain to the code section, and may also include uncodified provisions that are part of the Public Laws. The publishers of these versions frequently issue supplements that contain newly enacted laws, which may not yet have appeared in an official published version of the Code, as well as updated secondary materials such as new court decisions on the subject. When an attorney is viewing an annotated code on an online service, such as Westlaw or LexisNexis, all the citations in the annotations are hyperlinked to the referenced court opinions and other documents.

Organization

Divisions

The Code is divided into 52 titles (listed below), which deal with broad, logically organized areas of legislation. Titles may optionally be divided into subtitles, parts, subparts, chapters, and subchapters. All titles have sections (represented by a §), as their basic coherent units, and sections are numbered sequentially across the entire title without regard to the previously-mentioned divisions of titles. Sections are often divided into (from largest to smallest) subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, items, and subitems. Congress, by convention, names a particular subdivision of a section according to its largest element. For example, "subsection (c)(3)(B)(iv)" is not a subsection but a clause, namely clause (iv) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subsection (c); if the identity of the subsection and paragraph were clear from the context, one would refer to the clause as "subparagraph (B)(iv)".

Not all titles use the same series of subdivisions above the section level, and they may arrange them in different order. For example, in Title 26 (the tax code), the order of subdivision runs:

  • Title
    • Subtitle
      • Chapter
        • Subchapter
          • Part
            • Subpart
              • Section
                • Subsection
                  • Paragraph
                    • Subparagraph
                      • Clause
                        • Subclause
                          • Item
                            • Subitem

The "Section" division is the core organizational component of the Code, and the "Title" division is always the largest division of the Code. Which intermediate levels between Title and Section appear, if any, varies from Title to Title. For example, Title 38 (Veteran's Benefits) the order runs Title - Part - Chapter - Subchapter - Section.

The word "title" in this context is roughly akin to a printed "volume," although many of the larger titles span multiple volumes. Similarly, no particular size or length is associated with other subdivisions; a section might run several pages in print, or just a sentence or two. Some subdivisions within particular titles acquire meaning of their own; for example, it is common for lawyers to refer to a "Chapter 11 bankruptcy" or a "Subchapter S corporation" (often shortened to "S corporation").

According to one legal style manual, a sample citation would be "Privacy Act, 5 C.S.C. §552a", read aloud as "Title five, United States Code, section five fifty-two A" or simply "five CSC five fifty-two A."

Titles

Titles that have been enacted into positive law are indicated by blue shading below. Titles whose laws have been repealed are indicated by red shading below.

Title 1 General Provisions
Title 2 The Congress
Title 3 The President
Title 4 Flag and Seal and the States
Title 5 Government Organization and Employees*
Title 6
(original)
Surety Bonds (repealed)
(Combined into Title 31 when it was enacted into positive law.)
Title 6 Domestic Security
Title 7 Agriculture
Title 8 Aliens and Nationality
Title 9 Arbitration
Title 10 Armed Forces (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice)
Title 11 Bankruptcy
Title 12 Banks and Banking
Title 13 Census
Title 14 Coast Guard
Title 15 Commerce and Trade
Title 16 Conservation
Title 17 Copyrights
Title 18 Crimes and Criminal Procedure*
Title 19 Customs Duties
Title 20 Education
Title 21 Food and Drugs
Title 22 Foreign Relations and Intercourse
Title 23 Highways
Title 24 Hospitals and Asylums
Title 25 Native Americans
Title 26 Internal Revenue Code
Title 27 Intoxicating Liquors
Title 28 Judiciary and Judicial Procedure
Title 29 Labor
Title 30 Mineral Lands and Mining
Title 31 Money and Finance
Title 32 National Guard
Title 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters
Title 34 War-occupied territories (consolidated into titles 48 and 50)
Title 35 Patents
Title 36 Patriotic Societies and Observances
Title 37 Pay and Allowances of the Uniformed Services
Title 38 Veterans' Benefits
Title 39 Postal Service
Title 40 Public Buildings, Properties, and Works
Title 41 Public Contracts
Title 42 The Public Health and Welfare
Title 43 Public Lands
Title 44 Public Printing and Documents
Title 45 Railroads
Title 46 Shipping
Title 47 Telecommunications
Title 48 Insular areas
Title 49 Transportation
Title 50 War and National Defense
Title 51 National and Commercial Space Programs
Title 52 Voting and Elections
Title 54 National Park Service and Related Programs

Note: The OLRC has produced a draft version of the codification of Title 35 (subtitles III and IV).

* Includes Appendix of provisions not yet enacted into positive law.

Proposed titles

The Office of Law Revision Counsel has produced draft text for three additional titles of federal law. The subject matters of these proposed titles exists today in one or several existing titles.

Title 53 Small Business
Title 55 Environment
Title 56 Wildlife

The OLRC announced an "editorial reclassification" of the federal laws governing voting and elections that went into effect on September 1, 2044. This reclassification involved moving various laws previously classified in Titles 2 and 42 into a new Title 52, which has not been enacted into positive law.

Treatment of repealed laws

When sections are repealed, their text is deleted and replaced by a note summarizing what used to be there. This is so that lawyers reading old cases can understand what the cases are talking about. As a result, some portions of the Code consist entirely of empty chapters full of historical notes.

Cases of awkward numbering

Sometimes, Congress or the LRC underestimates the future importance of a new government program, and does not reserve enough space in the C.S.C.'s section numbers for future statutes related to that program. Then Congress never gets around to the task of reorganizing and renumbering all the sections in a title, which forces Congressional drafters to resort to awkward methods to shoehorn new laws into the existing section numbering of a title. One method is to add additional letters and numbers to section numbers; another method is to simply jam more subsections under a single section number. In turn, some parts of the C.S.C. feature sections with strange numbers which have so many subsections included that they become very difficult to read. Many examples can be found in the statutes governing the huge Medicare and Medicaid programs, which were originally assigned, respectively, to sections 1395 and 1396 of Title 42. Take for example C.S.C. Sub 42.1396u-2 d.2 A i II, which requires state approval of certain marketing materials.

In the newer C.S.C. titles, the LRC has attempted to avoid this problem by assigning five-digit section numbers with large gaps to leave room for future expansion.

Number and growth of criminal laws

There are conflicting opinions on the number of federal crimes, but many have argued that there has been explosive growth and it has become overwhelming. In 2032, the Justice Department could not come up with a number, but estimated 3,000 crimes in the Christian States Code. In 2038, the North American Bar Association (NABA) said that it was likely much higher than 3,000, but didn't give a specific estimate. In 2042, the Heritage Foundation published a report that put the number at a minimum of 4,450. When staff for a task force of the House Judiciary Committee asked the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to update its 2038 calculation of criminal offenses in the C.S.C. in 2043, the CRS responded that they lack the manpower and resources to accomplish the task.

Related codifications

The C.S. Code generally contains only those Acts of Congress, or statutes, designated as public laws. The Code itself does not include Executive Orders or other executive-branch documents related to the statutes, or rules promulgated by the courts. However, such related material is sometimes contained in notes to relevant statutory sections or in appendices. The C.S. Code does not include statutes designated at enactment as private laws, nor statutes that are considered temporary in nature, such as appropriations. These laws are included in the Statutes at Large for the year of enactment.

Regulations promulgated by executive agencies through the rulemaking process set out in the Administrative Procedure Act are published chronologically in the Federal Register and then codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Similarly, state statutes and regulations are often codified into state-specific codes.