U.S. Library of Congress Adds the Congressional Record to Congress.gov

The U.S. Library of Congress has added — among other things — the Congressional Record to Congress.gov.

Please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

HeinOnline’s Browsable Congressional Record Index

We’ve recently learned that HeinOnline’s “U.S. Congressional Documents” library offers browsable copies of the Congressional Record Index.  Given proposals to axe many print copies of the Congressional Record, there is concern that, among other things, we could lose ready access to the great research tool that is the Index.  Last year, we researched dozens of wilderness-related bills in the 1950s-1960s.  Initially, title searching in Congressional documents databases did not identify them all, because a few of the earlier bills were captioned as “forestry”—a fact discovered by using the print version of the Congressional Record Index.  So, we are  relieved that HeinOnline has preserved the Index’s utility with browsable PDFs.  To boot, they do a great job with metadata structuring.  Each letter within an Index may be accessed via separate hyperlink.  As one browses, the list of hyperlinks remains visible along the left of the screen, allowing for easy navigation.  Thank you, HeinOnline!

U.S. treaty research in the Congressional Record

Researchers investigating U.S. treaty questions often need to determine if an international agreement is self-executing or not.  For treaties submitted to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, you can use the declarations of advice and consent that appear in the “Congressional Record.” At the end of the declaration a note will appear if the treaty is self-executing. Hat tip to the Opinio Juris blog. 

Here is an example from the September 23, 2008 Congressional Record. page S9330. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r110:37:./temp/~r110bzXCJP:e11421:

The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Hungary on Extradition signed December 1, 1994, as contemplated by Article 3 (2) of the Agreement on Extradition between the United States of America and the European Union, signed June 25, 2003, signed at Budapest on November 15, 2005 (Treaty Doc. 109-14), subject to the declaration of section 2.

   Section 2. Declaration.

   The advice and consent of the Senate under section 1 is subject to the following declaration:

   This Treaty is self-executing.