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Legislative Process

Major print and online sources for the study of the legislative process, including bill drafting, lobbying, and statutory interpretation

Introduction

Once the bill drafters have done their job, the legislative body approves on a final version, and that version is sent to the governor (or President) for his/her signature, the bill is added to the jurisdiction's statutory code.

Despite best efforts, questions arise about how or when a specific laws applies to a real-life situation. Beyond reading the "plain language" of the law itself, researchers turn to other sources in search of guidance.

Rules of Construction

Each state has statutes on the "rules of construction." These are basically statutes about statutory interpretation.

In Washington, those rules are found in Chapter 1.12 of the Revised Code of Washington. For federal statutes, see 1 U.S.C. §§ 1-8.

Other states have similar provisions on the rules of construction, typically found in the first title of the statutory code. For exact citations, see Jacob Scott, Codified Canons and the Common Law of Interpretation, 98 Geo L. J. 341, 350-51 n. 35 (2010). HeinOnline [UW Restricted] Beginning at page 411, this article has a list of state laws providing "Statutory Sources of Interpretive Rules."

Treatise

Other Books

For more books on this topic, search the Library catalog with one of these subject headings:

  • Law--United States--Interpretation and construction
  • Legislative histories--United States

Additional Sources