Skip to main content

Public Health

Guide to selected resources in Public Health.

Statutes

Finding state, federal, and other nations legal information

This general tab explains the federal and state separation of power. It also has links to general legal research databases such as LexisNexis Academic. The other tabs provide links to state, federal, and international legal resources. The links on this guide go to research guides and databases. To learn more about a specific link, hover the mouse over the  next to the link. A description of the resource will appear. 


Federal vs State: Constitutional & Legislative Authority

The U.S. Constitution defines federal and states' legislative power. At the top of the legal hierarchy are the U.S. Constitution and federal statutes.

The division of supremacy is defined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. They are:

  • U.S Constitution Article VI, Clause (Supremacy Clause): Supreme law of the land is the U.S. Constitution and its accompanying legislation.
  • U.S. Constitution Amendment XAll powers that are not delegated to the federal government by the U.S Constitution are under the purview of the states. Note: This is the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The U.S. Supreme court is also at the top of the legal hierarchy because it decides constitutional law cases. For many people working with federal and state statutes, knowing the U.S. court system help them understand state vs national legislative authority.

Comparing Federal & State Courts: This guide from the the U.S. Courts explains judiciary hierarchy in the United States.

Finding State and Territory Statutes

U.S. States & Territories (Library of Congress): Click on the state/territory you would like to research to find links to all branches of that state/territory's government.

Search Tips

  • Keyword Searching: Read the text next to the search box. You may need to select a menu option to search with descriptive words. 
  • Do not cite .com websites like Justia (law.justia.com). Use them as spring board.
  • If your searches are failing, think of other words that could be used.

Finding Federal Statutes

Mastering the search techniques on U.S Code website will save you time in looking for federal statutes. Use the Help page to learn about using double quotes, boolean and proximity operators, wildcards and masks, and more.

Finding International Legal Information

Search Tips

  • Searching for legal information is difficult because different countries' may or may not let you search their databases. Using CRTL + F to locate a word on the page will help you skimming the page quickly.
  • Using Google to find statutes from countries where English is not the primary language, can be very difficult. If possible use a search engine that is popular in the country.

Not finding what you are looking for?

Contact Celina McDonaldU.S. Government Information, Criminal Law, Criminology, and Law Librarian, cnichol5@umd.edu 

Consult Legal Aspects of Family Problems guide for more resources and searching strategies.

Loading