Over the past few weeks reports have appeared confirming that Titles 1 through 9 of the 2006 edition of the United States Code are available both online and in print from the GPO. The University of Wisconsin Law Library noted the news in their blog and listserv postings confirm that libraries in the Bay Area are receiving the physical volumes.
Although use of the print version of the Code has waned, it continues to be the only official and authenticated version of the Code and the version that lawyers and students must cite to in court filings and legal scholarship.
The fact that this edition is two years late raises, again, questions about the reality of legal research and the fiction of legal citation. Isn’t it time to recognize that online versions of the code have surpassed the print in the terms of usage and utility? More importantly, isn’t it time that the government worked toward making their online version of the code official?