This is an important reference work, one whose value is so clear and self-evident that the user, or reviewer, is quickly impelled to wonder why it has not been done before. It should prove as invaluable to the library community (particularly law and documents libraries) as to the legal and research communities in America and wherver else U.S. Federal legislation is studies. International Journal of Legal Information In the introduction Reams says that his intention is to assist in the day-to-day effort of legal professionals in understanding and presenting the law. With Federal Legislative Histories, Reams has definitely accomplished his goal. Legal Information Alert
The use of legislative history materials is an essential step in American legal research and statutory interpretation. Legislative histories look at the legislative purpose and intent of Congress where the language of the statute is vague, unclear, or lacks specifics. The judiciary, legal scholars, the legal profession, and the creators of government policy turn to the various documents drafted during the law-making process to clarify areas of confusion or ambiguity. Precise and thorough research in the United States statutes and codes depends on having access to the materials that make up the pre-enactment history. For years, the U.S. Government Printing Office, Federal Administrative Agencies, and Federal Commissions have randomly collected, organized, excerpted, and indexed the various documents that explain the history and intent of a statute. This compilation identifies those officially created sources and provides an important access point to the legal researcher and those interested in the policy behind the nation's laws.
This first annotated bibliography dealing with United States Federal legislative history covers Congressional, executive agency, and special commission sources from 1862 through 1990. The 257 entries provide information about the scope and content of the documents, the locations, the titles and popular names of the bills and laws, the publication dates, the author, the LC card number, the OCLC number, the SUDoc number, the CIS number, the UPA citation, and other information about relevant bills.